For me, studying abroad means being able to study and learn in a completely new setting and being able to learn subjects through a different lens. For example, one of my classes, environmental ethics green principles, is an ethics class talking about environmentalism through the lens of the European continent, and what measures major European countries are taking in response to our current climate crisis. Being able to learn about the broad topic of environmental ethics and applying it to Europe is just an example of how studying abroad gives new perspective and light on an otherwise straightforward ethics class. The best part of this new learning experience is that we not only look through the lens of Europe, but also compare what Europe is doing in terms of environmentalism to other major nations such as the United States, China, Australia, and others. By learning from a European point of view, it really puts things into perspective in terms of how much more progressive European countries are in terms of creating and enacting eco-friendly policies and procedures.
During my short time abroad, I’ve realized how truly lucky I am to be able to learn in this environment, with students from all over the world coming together to learn in London. I’ve been able to make friends from different parts of the world, as well as local students that hail from London as well. A great part of my experience that has been influenced by my identity has been exploring the incredible Chinatown that exists in London. The immense array of Chinese restaurants ranging from Shanghai food to Sichuan food was a pleasant surprise, as I had no prior knowledge of there being such a large selection of Chinese food. Not limited to Chinese food, I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the great selection of other Asian foods such as Korean, Japanese, and Indian cuisines; all which make up my favorite palette of foods. Personally, the most important part of traveling is the amazing food you get to experience in different countries, and contrary to popular saying, I’ve found the food in London to be great not only quality but also in selection.
Last weekend, I got the opportunity to travel to Paris with a group of students from my program. This was my first time in Paris, and being able to go explore the city with other study-abroad students was an experience I will never forget. We were all very excited for the trip, as most of us had never been to Paris before, and being able to experience the city together for the first time was lots of fun. After the trip, I truly understood how easy it is to travel around Europe by train, and how convenient and affordable the entire trip was. Because of how accessible it is to travel to other neighboring European countries, my hopes for this semester abroad are to travel as much as possible in my vicinity, and be able to experience new cultures and cuisines. I plan on booking travel tickets and hotel reservations this weekend to make the most of my time abroad and maximize my traveling experience.
Author: Sean Ko