Jonathan Anderson, 2012, Saint Paul MN
So, here I am in York, England, living more comfortable and care free than I ever thought possible on a school sponsored function. I've never studied abroad before, and for that matter, never traveled internationally before. But I don't think I could have picked a better time to do it, or a better group of people to have traveled with.
I decided to do study abroad because I felt that I would like to spend some time studying somewhere other than Morris, Minnesota. Not that I don't love Morris, but I felt as though I would like to experience a culture that I was not used to. In the last week I have done that over and over again. The most exciting thing about my trip is that everywhere I walk, I can see things that are older than America. History is interspersed with modernity. One can see a medieval church next to a nineteenth century pub, next to a modern supermarket. I hear that over here any time someone digs a hole to build something, there are ancient artifacts that turn up. Thinking that there is so much history just beneath my feet is very exciting.
My biggest joy here in the UK is that even though most of the same things are sold in stores here, there is an absence of cheap junk to fill in all the spaces. Meaning that the products available are better, and that there are less of them. Food included. Eating here is cheap, delicious, and healthy. I can't remember the last time I paid for something to eat with coins, and felt reasonably satisfied. Probably because I never have.
People that live here tend to let you go about your business. I'm used to the big Minnesota smile and hello, but it's refreshing to simply walk past someone on the street without having to feel obligated to tell your life's story on a morning walk. There is no malice in it, but rather just a blissful indifference:)
I am also glad that I chose to go with a relatively small group of about twenty people, and for the span of about three weeks in the summer. All the excitement is only compounded by the fact that I share it with some super people.
So, My lessons from the UK: A bar is a gate, a gate is the word for a road. But a Pub is a Bar. And trousers are pants, but pants are underwear. A truck is a Lorry, and black pudding is blood sausage, but Yorkshire pudding is bread. Pennies are pence, and longbow sounds like Strongbow. Cheers! Jonny