I finished Michaelmas term on December 2nd. One term down, two to go. It is crazy how fast the 8 weeks went by. Just as I was truly feeling at home and getting into the swing of things at Oxford, the term was over and everyone’s parents were coming to move them out. That is a strange thing about Oxford: all of the freshmen have to move out of their rooms completely during the breaks of the term. In America, this would be impossible and highly contested. In the United Kingdom, everywhere is a 1-3 hour drive, so parents can easily come pick up their kids. It is almost like a commuter school in this way! It has made me realize that the United States is a massive place: a short drive is anything less than three hours.
Since I cannot travel during term in the same way as other study abroad programs, I decided to take December 3rd – 18th to travel and visit other Georgetown friends studying abroad. So far I have been to London, Maastricht, Copenhagen, Budapest, Prague, and Strasbourg. It has been really cool to connect with other Georgetown students abroad and see what their day-to-day experience has been. Because they are still in school and taking finals, I have spent most of the days walking around the cities alone or following them to their school days. I have gotten to see the variety of study abroad experiences throughout Europe as well as gotten shown around by a local, which is truly invaluable! Also, I have basically hit some of the best cities for Christmas markets, culminating in the “capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg, France. The Georgetown network truly runs deep and is international. Most students would not have the same ability and network abroad as I have had, and for that I am grateful.
Overall, although this summer I was skeptical of my decision to go abroad for the year, I do not regret it one bit. I feel like I am truly building roots at Oxford, and am excited to actually take advantage of all the relationships I am forming and activities I am a part of in the next two terms. In the meantime, I have been able to see all my Georgetown friends and it will make the senior year homecoming all the more sweet. I think that every student wants to feel like they are coming back to something meaningful once they return for break. Luckily for me, I have made great friends with the other American visiting students at Pembroke, as well as the British freshman, and most importantly, my lacrosse team. I will write more upon the subject of my playing on the university mixed lacrosse team in the next term posts, but they have been a contributing part to my happiness and community at Oxford. The next few week will consist of hanging at back in Chicago, visiting Georgetown, and then back off to London until June!