From Culture Shock to the Best Semester Ever

 

Esther Goldstein

When I arrived in Liverpool, I exited the train station and got hopelessly lost trying to find a place to convert some money. After that, I found a place to buy a British SIM card and went off to find my new home for the next semester. The day was a whirlwind of getting lost several more times, moving into my residence, and meeting my new flatmates. It wasn’t an easy first weekend because I had to find a bunch of new things for my place, such as bedding and groceries. I wondered if I was cut out for life in Liverpool. I just needed some time to adjust, however.

The day before classes started, I met some people at the study abroad orientation session, and things started to turn up. I continued to explore the city more, and I really enjoyed how compact and walkable the city center was. Along with all of The Beatles attractions and strange accents, there were tons of shops, pubs, and restaurants to visit. I navigated my way through Albert Dock, which has an amazing view of the River Mersey on a sunny day. Although it was usually windy and cloudy in Liverpool much of the time, it made me appreciate the sunny days even more. Throughout my time there, I became friends with people from around the world. My closest friends came from China and South Korea, and I was able to learn more about those countries’ cultures through them. In addition, the University of Liverpool assigned all of the exchange students a study abroad buddy. My buddy introduced me to life there and was an awesome resource during my time abroad.

I loved how I could easily walk to the train station in Liverpool, and from there I could travel just about anywhere by train or plane. During the semester I went to the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Ireland, and Scotland! I had never been to Europe prior to my semester abroad, and I saw lots of amazing places through my travels. Overall I had a great semester, and I cherish all of the memories I made with my friends and while travelling.

Some of the things I learned were…
•   Take advantage of travelling to different countries while in Europe, because many of the countries are close to one another
•   Traveling can expensive between bus and train rides, plane flights, and eating out, so make sure to budget accordingly
•   Try to make friends with locals so you can learn more about the people living in your area
•   Take a light course load so that you have enough time to make travel plans and are not bogged down with homework

– Esther Goldstein, exchange program at University of Liverpool, Spring 2017

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