Hello! This is Mykaela writing to you one last time from Cambridge, England. In the next couple of days, I will be traveling from Cambridge to London and finally to my hometown of Dallas, Texas. It is all quite surreal to think that in about a month, I have completed my first study abroad through UT. This experience has been very special to me and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share it with all of you.
I wish I could say my last few days have been a time of relaxation and reflection, but I wouldn’t be entirely telling you the truth. After all, this is a UT study abroad, meaning there is just as much of a workload as classes in Texas. As my program and course come to a close, I have been working on two final papers and a multimedia creative project. One of my papers is a research paper investigating underfunding in K-12 education for both the UK and US education systems. My second paper will be a reflection on what I’ve learned about students in marginalized and minoritized communities navigating the UK higher education system. I look forward to using the papers to reflect on what I’ve learned about the UK education system, as well as the United States’s education system back home.
With that being said, the real purpose of this blog post is for me to share the multimedia creative project I presented in class today with all of you. Creativity isn’t particularly hard for me (after all, I am a dancer), however, I wanted to challenge my normal urge to create something movement oriented and find a different creative outlet to use as my medium. I have always enjoyed amateur filmmaking! I frequently encounter spaces or moments that are physically, mentally, or emotionally too big for me to process at that exact point in time, so I use film as a medium to allow myself to remember and indulge in those feelings again. Attached below is a film I made entitled Perspective. As you will hear in the video, I mainly focus on the community I have created here in the UK and how our different perspectives have enriched our experience together. I tried to be as transparent, genuine, and candid as possible in my filming and voice-overs because that’s the only way I felt comfortable communicating my message to my classmates and all of you. Of course, I couldn’t help but throw a little improvisational dancing in there, hehe.
As this experience comes to a close, I know that I’ll be reflecting on it for quite some time. I know what I have learned deserves to live beyond the walls of a classroom or within the confines of my journal. I know that I have a unique voice that I can use to create change within education systems and beyond. I think I had the potential to do that all along, but I credit this program and the people on it for creating a space for me to find it. This was a vulnerable, unique experience I don’t think I’ll ever quite be able to find the perfect words for. Just know that I am immensely grateful and wouldn’t trade for the world. I can honestly say I think Cambridge 2019 took the UK by the horns!
If you have any questions about the UK’s education system or want to know more about UT study abroad programs in general, feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was contributed by Mykaela Johnson, a 2019 Global Ambassador. Mykaela is a dance performance and choreography major participating in the Exploring UK Education Maymester program.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Mykaela’s experience abroad>>