Going to another country, this was going to
be my first time even on a plane. I�ve never been on a plane before in my entire life.
So it doesn�t exactly hit you until you look at your itinerary and you realize it�s
a week away that you fly out and when that happens you’re like wow this is real, I’m
going to another country. So really I was just excited to get out there and see. Even
to be on a plane, I had seen it in movies before, but I had never seen it for myself�and
that is the most amazing experience. . It was amazing. The whole trip I said, �I�m
in London, England and I can�t believe this. Maybe it was because I was exhausted, but
everything seemed iconic in a way. So there was almost a euphoric sense to being on the
train. So even the most mundane things seemed to be amazing. I was too busy looking out
the windows and like, �this is so cool, we�re riding on the other side of the road!�
I’m from Cynthiana, which is a very small town. So really it’s not that diverse at all.
Being able to, even outside of Lexington, experience new cultures, and those first 5
minutes in this new continent was pretty incredible. I mean you walked down the street and you
would hear five different languages within just that street and that was really cool
to me! So a typical day in our program would be one in which we have class in the morning.
So the class was really interesting, it was a very discussion-based class. The class will
generally contextualize what we�re doing that day, so after the class we will either
go on a tour or go to a tour of a business. I learned all about global communication and
how the world interacts with itself and the members in it. And it�s really nice to see
how the lesson will tie into that tour. And after that, typically we were given the rest
of the day to do whatever we wanted. We did tour a lot and do the typical things that
everyone wants to go to, we also had the opportunity to check out the markets and other things
and experience the nightlife and really live as if we were native to the area. You would
have thought we were from London by week 2! Getting to learn the tube was the most exhilarating
and equally terrifying thing. We were ready to go explore this and go explore that, which
is great. I have to have my GPS everywhere I go even in Lexington so having the opportunity
to be somewhere that I don’t recognize anything, and have to forge my way to where I need to
go was very eye opening I think and amazing. I definitely am grateful that UK has a study
abroad program for first-generation students. It would have been very difficult to navigate
that myself and to figure out what I needed to do�and by when, how to prepare, how to
pack, how to do my finances, how to budget, things like that, so o being able to have
them guide us through it was the most important thing as a first gen student. It�s so so
helpful for first generation students because I think that we need to give a guide to them
and give them access to the things that their parents didn�t have. I mean myself that
that support was huge because my parents didn�t go to college and they reminded me constantly
how jealous they were that first of all that I was going to college and second that I was
going to London and my dad said that when he was younger he could only dream of something
like that. It allows you to branch out and find out more about your self that you might
not have known and it allows you to kind of want more in life. It�s absolutely made
me know that I want to travel more in my life�. realizing that there�s so much in the world
out there and I�m not afraid of it. It really widened my view of what the world is and there�s
so much more I haven� seen and just thinking about that and thinking of when I and I can
travel more and where I could go, just to experience more cultures, more people. So
in terms of what I found out about myself was that I was part of this huge network of
people in the world, I wasn�t just an American and I wasn�t just Abel a student at UK,
I was a citizen of the world. #####