Name: Marie Kenney
Program: Semester Exchange at Lancaster University
Term Abroad: Spring 2015
I studied abroad in Spring 2015 in England at the University of Lancaster in the beautiful, windswept area of north-western Britain commonly known as Lancashire and Cumbria. The day after I arrived, January 8th, it snowed a quarter of an inch and all the Lancaster residents freaked out. It was then I knew for sure I was no longer in St. Louis. My time abroad had officially begun.
I knew that I wanted to study abroad when I was only a freshman in high school, but it wasn’t until my junior year at UMSL that this finally became a reality. I chose Lancaster University because of its location (I <3 Doctor Who), wide range of course offerings, and easy access to other European countries. I was pretty nervous about leaving my family, home university, and country to live in England for 5 months, but once I arrived, met other students, and started to settle in I knew I had made the best decision.
Because I studied in Lancaster for two terms—almost like short semesters or quarters!—I had a month long break in between the end of one term and the beginning of the next. Wanting to utilize this break to our advantage, a few of my friends from Lancaster and I decided to start backpacking across Europe. This month long excursion onto mainland Europe was one of the highlights of my study abroad experience. Not only did I get to see tons of different cities and towns in England, I also traveled to Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Florence, Sieci, Rome, Oslo, Flam, and Bergen!
If you are on the fence about studying abroad, I encourage you to take the plunge and do it! It’s so incredibly worthwhile. The experiences you have abroad, the friends you make there, the different cultures you experience, and the places you will see will stay with you forever. I only caution you because once you go, you will definitely want to go back. SOON!