My Study Abroad Experience

by: Jacquelyn Dunn

JD Study Abroad

I had one objective in mind with my study abroad—make friends with people who had similar interests to mine. This seemed simple enough, especially since it was a Theatre and English study abroad in London, and who doesn’t love plays, books, and Britain? Even so, I was nervous. I’d traveled with groups before and always struggled to find people who I could really relate to. I was searching for people who would discuss ideas with me—people who weren’t afraid to have an opinion and stand up for it.

Luckily, the London Theatre program was full of such people. I was amazed after the first show we went to that everyone came out with outlooks completely different from mine, and they were more than willing to talk about it. Everyone was passionate about what they thought, but also willing to listen to the views of their peers. Pretty much every conversation ended with laughter and no hurt feelings, just expanded perspective and strengthened friendships.

JD Study Abroad 1

I remember one particular night after an especially intense production of Richard III. I was pretty shaken up about some of the content of the play and needed to discuss it, so a friend and I made our way to a café that was open late. We started talking about the play, but our conversation soon morphed into a deep discussion about our philosophies on education and family life. We talked for hours and commented multiple times about the fact that we were sitting in a European café while discussing idea, just like hundreds of great minds before us. I remember walking home that night and feeling an overwhelming amount of love for my friend and gratitude for the experiences we were having.

JD Study Abroad 2

Throughout the program, I came to consider everyone as a friend, but I was worried that when we all returned home and the magic ended our friendships would dissolve in the rush school, work, and other commitments. We all promised to keep in touch, but how often do people actually keep those kinds of promises? Only the best kinds of people, and fortunately for me, my study abroad friends were the best. Since we were spread out all summer from California to Thailand, we kept up with one another through Facebook messenger. We shared funny videos and memes, talked about articles we were reading, and encouraged each other on almost a daily basis. When we all got back to school this fall our reunion was sweet. We fell right back into our habits of discussion and it was like we were right back in London.

JD Study Abroad 3

The people I met on my study abroad experience are some of my favorite humans. They’re brilliant, kind, funny, and supportive; their friendship made the London Theatre Study Abroad the best part of my college experience to date.


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