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My Study Abroad Was Great, Thanks for Asking!


Photo by Felicity Yick / The Daily Pennsylvanian

The world was turned upside down with COVID-19, but after having some time to reflect now that school is over, I've come to understand that I really loved studying abroad this past semester. I had dreamed about sitting in charming French cafés and exploring the art of the Prado and seeing the ruins of Rome, but coming home early was pretty good too. 

I mean, what's so great about study abroad? Meeting new people and seeing new places? My parents moved after I graduated high school, so my home is basically a new place for me anyway. And the neighbors? New as well. I actually got lost walking around the first week I got home. The point is, there are a lot of new sights to see just in my own neighborhood.  

As for language learning, my home has a lot to offer. My dad took a semester of Spanish in college and my mom grew up eating croissants, so French is covered too. But beyond that, some nights, we cook Spaghetti al dente because there's a touch of Italian in my family. In some ways, the combination of Spanish, French, and Italian is a more robust Language curriculum than I would get if I were just studying abroad in any one country.

Finally, the biking that is so prominent in Europe has become my only form of transportation in recent months, since my parents have the car, so I'm basically living the European lifestyle anyway. I now really understand the European way of life, and it's changed me so much that I'm thinking about getting an electric scooter.

I guess what I'm trying to say is while at first I was pretty bummed that my semester was cut short, I now realize that study abroad wasn't going to give me anything I couldn't get from the comfort of my own home. I now understand my experience at home was even better than what I would have gotten abroad.