On Being British

I absolutely hated London before Fall of 2017. My most vivid memories of the city consisted of hours and hours touring the British Museum and scouting for decent food. I questioned my decision to study in this city, which I so openly grumbled about. But looking back, I don’t think I could have picked a more incredible, more perfect spot to study abroad. Living in London, I never felt the emptiness some cities experience.

Whether 2pm or 2am, people always hustled around the streets, crowding pubs or carrying hoards of shopping bags. I had always wanted to study in a city and in the four months of my program abroad, I did. What was so fascinating to me was the range of internationalism. Nearly every person I met came from a different background, each with a unique story of their origin and how they ended up in London.

While some students may feel a cultural barrier when first moving into their host country, I did not. I felt like no matter who you were, where you came from, you could find a home in London. Of course, I won’t miss nearly getting hit by a car every time I crossed the street or having hundreds of people trample my feet trying to exit the tube station, but the richness of diversity and the luxury of constantly surrounding myself with so many different students? I could never replace that experience, that feeling of realizing how you fit into the grander world.

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