My name is Dan Audette, and I am a junior economics concentrator here at Brown. On campus, I am a tour guide, info session leader, Meiklejohn peer advisor, and instructor in an elementary school program run through the Swearer Center for Public Service, among other things. For about the next nine months, I will be posting this year about my life abroad in London as a part of the column “Life Abroad”!
I have been in London for over a month and a half now, and it really is starting to feel like home. I’ve adjusted to the streets, the culture, and even the knowledge that a “sale” might not be as good as it seems once you convert the pounds into dollars. I’m picking up on most of the slang that I hear in conversation, know how to navigate the city, and feel like I can blend in as a Londoner when I walk the streets.
I also realized that I only have a month before I go home for winter break. However, unlike most study abroad experiences, I will be coming back to London for next term as well! My program (The General Course at the LSE) is a full year program that runs from the end of September through mid-to-late June. Although I was unsure about whether to stay for a year or not when I was deciding which programs to apply for, I couldn’t be happier now!
In the culture shock diagram above, most people only have a limited amount of time in the “independence stage” before they have to start preparing for finals and journey back to the States. However, not including winter break, I have 6 more months in London! I feel like with this time I will actually be a resident of the city, and not a tourist. I’ll be more willing to travel because I won’t feel like I’m missing out on the city I’m in because I have so much time here!
So, if you are thinking about studying abroad, either while at Brown or at another institution, give year long programs some serious thought. I think it is the best way to really live in another country and have a full experience in that location.
Come back next week for the details of my trip to Amsterdam and Bruges!!!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.