When many people think of England, they immediately think of Harry Potter and it’s iconic sport: Quidditch. I play the real-world version of quidditch at UT so I had already experienced how separated the fast-growing sport has become from it’s original source material. Even so, when I went on a semester exchange at University College London (UCL), the temptation to play the sport in its fictional birthplace proved to be too much for me. I attended a couple practices and soon enough found myself on the London Unspeakables, the main team in London. This turned out to be one of the highlights of my time abroad, and it provided me so many experiences I might never have had.
As part of the team, I got to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland to play in a tournament in what many consider to be the birthplace of Harry Potter. The city was fantastically beautiful and I was able to experience it and bond with 14 other incredible people. Through quidditch I also traveled to Oxford, where I got to be one of the snitches at a tournament being held there! Throughout my semester in London I constantly hung out with the friends I made on the pitch and I feel very lucky to have spent so much time with them.
One of the cooler aspects of being part of the London Unspeakables was that none of the place were actually students at the university I was attending. In addition, about half of the team were not from the U.K., with people from all around Europe and even Australia. This allowed me to make friends with a very diverse group of people in addition to the friends I made at UCL.
Playing quidditch in the U.K. helped me be able to say that I have friends all over the world now.
Overall, playing quidditch during my semester abroad was a brilliant experience and by far one of the best parts of my time in England. I highly suggest looking for organizations and activities outside of your exchange university while you are abroad. You never know who you might meet along the way.