I recently began researching study abroad opportunities. I knew I wanted to go somewhere in Europe and I knew I wanted the country to speak English, so I looked into all of the schools in the United Kingdom, and found a perfect match: King’s College London. It’s smack dab in the middle of London and borders River Thames. I vaguely recognized the name and then realized it was where Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA! As a completely nerdy biochemistry and genetics major, I was thrilled. KCL naturally has one of the best genetic research facilities in the world.
The more I researched, the more excited I became. Then I had a major reality check when I read that the program is incredibly prestigious. The chances of me being accepted were quite slim, but I sent in my application of interest anyway. Maybe if I send in my application for every semester from now until graduation, I’ll eventually be accepted.
I also discovered that my friend Josh dropped out of his study abroad program. He was suppose to spend the whole semester in Norway, but he is on a plane home at this very moment. According to his Facebook post, he had money problems and scheduling conflicts that prevented him from staying, but according to his Facetime chat with Ryan, it was too cold, the people were mean, his shower was gross, and his room didn’t have wifi. Couple that with his needy, depressed girlfriend waiting for him at UNO and I guess he was convinced it would be easier to give up than to tough it out.
I’m sure it was hard for Josh to try to adjust to a foreign country, but I really don’t think he gave it a fair shot. For the first week in Norway, Josh partied in Sondre’s hometown and thought life couldn’t get any better, but once he was on his own he caved. His classes didn’t start for another week, so I’m sure he didn’t have the opportunity to meet enough classmates to pass a judgement on the whole country’s temperament. Josh has lived in the same place with the same friends his entire life. The whole squad (except me and Jp) went to the kindergarten through college in our home town. Josh has never experienced a new place or had to make new friends without the safety net of his old ones to fall back on. I’m really disappointed that Josh gave up on his dream so easily. He had an opportunity to grow as a person and as a student, but failed to be flexible enough to ride out the hard part.
But don’t worry about me. If I study abroad, it won’t be my first time living in a foreign country.