Ask anyone what tops their bucket list and most will say ‘study abroad’ or something of the like. I am one of those people and I am writing today to talk about what I would consider a very unique experience of my time living abroad for four months. As part of my undergraduate college life, I chose to spend a semester in Sydney, Australia. This was always a dream of mine. It is surreal to even be reflecting on having it be over with. The things I learned from this adventure, however, will follow me forever. The most important things that I learned were about America and my own sense of patriotism. Sharing these few lessons may motivate some of you to take the leap and leave America for a short period of time, all because it is the difficulty of missing our country that makes us grow fonder of it. ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder,’ if you will! It’s not just fun and games; it’s fun, games, and becoming better than you ever thought you could be! Here are the top lessons I learned.
Internationals think of our politics as silly.
I will always remember being at orientation with everyone in my program from America, hearing about how to have the ‘Trump’ conversation. I found this hysterical, since part of global citizenship is properly representing your country and being respectful of others’. We were told to defeat stereotypes. I couldn’t help but think how, while everyone was bashing President Trump and our country’s leadership, that I loved our complicated relationship with politics and our individual emphasis on the pursuit of happiness. Suddenly, I was ‘the conservative’ again, this time at a university with 50,000 new students opposed to the 1,800 at my home university. I learned that I must accept my role.