Fall 2022 #7
December 5, 2022
Leaving With More Than You Came With
by Haley Nadler, MUDEC Student Intern
Leaving with more than you came with. If you are an avid shopper, this topic can be interpreted in more than one way. However, I want to share my experience of personal growth throughout my semester abroad, and what has kept me going through until the end. I can’t believe that we are at the end of this amazing journey already!
I can do anything, and so can you!
Solo traveling in Milan for the day
This whole experience is about getting out of your comfort zone and throwing yourself into new situations each day. That was the story of our lives for the past four months.
On my first day, I unpacked my luggage and immediately went to the nearest train station to try to figure out how to get to the grocery store. It was so uncomfortable, but I did it! If I hadn’t done it that first day, there would be a perpetual sense of “when.” There is no right time to figure anything out; you just have to do it.
Slowly, the train became second nature to me. Never did I think I would be able to spend a day by myself in Milan, but I have continuously said “yes” to new opportunities and learned from them.
I can confidently say that I can navigate my way around any city with the tools, skills, and confidence I have gained. I may even start using the bus system back on Oxford's campus!
When I came into this study abroad experience, I didn't know too many people. I did not come with a friend or a group, as a lot of students did.
Yet, over the course of four months, I have met lifelong friends. We have shared experiences like no other, and have spent almost every day together since August. You get to know the people you surround yourself with here very well. These friends are part of the stories that I will be telling my kids!
At the beginning of the semester, it was suggested that we shouldn't limit ourselves to a list of places we initially wanted to visit. I definitely still had certain countries on my list of “must-sees," but as time went on, I realized that I was going to have a fun time visiting any country–it's the people that you are with that make it special.
During travel weekends, everyone gets stressed from time to time: we missed a bus, we booked something for the wrong day, etc. I think one of my most important takeaways is learning how to be conscious of each other during stressful times. Getting annoyed with each other does not help the situation at all. Instead, come together, see what you can do to help each other, and make the best of the situation. This is a lifelong skill that is useful in any stressful situation, with any person.
Going abroad is something that everyone should experience. It shapes you, changes you, and helps you grow as a person. I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity!
We made a reservation for the wrong date at this restaurant in Paris!
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