Only five percent of college students study abroad during their undergraduate career. After my experience studying in abroad in London with Ursinus I can’t image ever being part of that 95 percent which doesn’t study abroad. It truly was a life changing and life defining experience. I traveled all over Europe, lived in a big city by myself, and adapted to a new culture. However, I would like to talk to you about the friends I made along the way, without whom my experience would have been empty.
I met Rachel, Turquoise, and Jeff in the airport on September 9th when we were all a little apprehensive to jump into something so big. Immediately our group formed as I told Rachel and Turquoise that I did not traditionally get along with girls. They told me they were the same way and we all agreed we would get along great during the course of our adventure in London.
During our time there we did everything together. We ate at the Chicken Spot, drank at the Priory, and hung out at CAPA. We even had the occasion to go away for Fall break together in Italy. We visited Venice, Florence, and Rome in our time and grew into a family. In Venice, I helped Rachel into bed after eating some bad chicken. In Florence, Jeff walked me home while I was drunk and cursing because I had just been assaulted and robbed by a bouncer. In Rome, Turquoise rescued me from being hit on by a very scary old man. In fact, in Florence we scribbled our initials on the wall of the Plaza del Academia where the David is kept. Hopefully our friendship will outlast our initials on that wall.
On several other free weekends, we traveled together. All of us went to Dublin where everyone had a great time but me. I got my yearly dose of strep throat. Rachel, Turquoise, and I walked around looking for a pharmacy to buy me antiseptic spray for an hour. I told them they could leave and I would find it on my own, but they insisted on coming with me. In Paris, Jeff consoled me and used his film to take pictures of me around Paris for my family when I lost my digital camera. In Barcelona, Rachel left the first good nightclub we found in Europe early because I didn’t feel well. I don’t think anyone could ask for better friends. Especially when you are thrown together, not knowing whether you will make any friends at all.
In London alone we all went through many trials and tribulations. Being girls we always had the occasional “man from back home” problem which we struggled through with Jeff’s male guidance. In addition, we found ourselves homesick often and got through it by talking about home and giving each other a shoulder to cry on. We helped each other in classes. Seeing as I am no English major, Turquoise and Rachel helped me figure out the puzzle which is Hamlet and the meaning behind it. Moreover, all three of them were there for me when, on my last night, my purse got stolen in a local nightclub. They all stayed with me until the police report was filled out and the club put me into a cab.
Though I visited 11 cities, it never seemed that special unless one of them was with me. All in all, we had a great time while we created a bond which will be with us for the rest of our lives. I wouldn’t trade my experience in Europe for anything in the world. Currently, I am Rachel’s roommate and Jeff and Turquoise visit often. We remain a family. I’ve already been committed to babysitting Jeff’s kids, being in Turquoise’s wedding, and living in New York with Rachel.