Good morning friends and family,
This is the one with less pictures. This is the one with the topic that nobody wants to talk about in a study abroad blog. When you’re supposed to be out enjoying your experience and exploring your new environment, nobody wants to talk about this part. This is the one about… studying. This is the one without any fun. You see, my classes ended in March. I was shocked how early it all finished up, and I thought to myself, “wow, you’ll have so much vacation time.” The Easter holiday is the entirety of April, but even though it is a holiday, this period of time is considered “Revisions.” Similar to how The University of Texas has “dead week,” the University of Exeter has revisions. My housemates have exams that they’re revising for, which allows them to do their work from wherever they want (London, Scotland, etc.).
On the other hand… As an English major, the entirety of my finals are research papers. Sadly, without consistent access to a library, my work would be impossible to complete. So at home I sit…whittling away at my dissertation…alone…
On the other, other hand… I have been biding my time—waiting. Planning! Because our modules end so soon, there is an excess of free time that needs to be filled. If I don’t fill that time properly, I’ll have to rejoin the rest of society. And nobody wants to do that! While everyone else has been spreading their travel time equally throughout their term abroad, my plan involves a big burst of traveling before I return home.
Instead of spreading out small visits to places like the Roman Baths in Bath, or the Trip To Jerusalem pub in Nottingham (opened in 1189 AD), or even trying to make friends with the neighbors standing just beyond our backyard wall at night, I will be visiting friends in their home countries across Europe in one big go! It may sound stereotypical, but backpacking across Europe may truly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As we have all learned during our Study Abroad info sessions, you need to make the most of your time. A lot of planning is going into this as well.
My advice is to plan in advance. I know, I know. People always suggest that you should be spontaneous and go on crazy adventures, but I beg to differ. Spontaneity is fun and all, but it’s expensive. Plane and train tickets can be very cheap if you buy them far enough out (especially in Europe and the UK), but even bus tickets will skyrocket in price if you buy them on the spot. I’m not suggesting that you plan out every moment of every day on your trip—in fact, I would suggest giving yourself at least a full day to explore after you arrive—but do your best to put some forethought into how expensive a trip can be.
That’s all for me today friends! I have quite a bit of work to get back to. I do hope my housemates get back soon; my neighbors keep leaving our backyard gate open and I’m tired of closing it every other night. All the very best and all of my love to y’all back home. It is through your support that I can succeed, even if I sometimes think I can’t. Thank you for your support.
We’ll see y’all later, friends!
This post was contributed by Julian Kadolph, a 2019 Global Ambassador majoring in English.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Julian’s experience in England>>