Greetings from Kingston Upon Hull (as the natives call it ‘Ull)!
My name is Sarah Maske. I am a Junior, History and Archaeology major, studying abroad at the University of Hull in England. My dragon Will Scarlet and I are preparing to say goodbye to the city we have called home for the past four months. Honestly I am sad to leave, this semester abroad has been a huge adventure for me that I will treasure always. I thought I would use my post to share some of the things I learned and encourage my fellow students who are preparing for their own trips.
This semester has taught me not to stress over the little things. Everything will work out in the end, no matter how big the problem seems. There was a professor strike here that left me without one of my classes for a month. It is an understatement to say I stressed over what would happen with my classes. I never thought I would wish to be in class as much as I did during that month. It has truly made me grateful for all the hard work and dedication professors put into teaching their students.
Yes there can be so much uncertainty studying abroad, but it works out…
1. Will you be able to handle being so far from your family?
Homesickness gets easier. If you stop thinking of home you see the beauty in all the cultural difference and may pick up some habits you will carry back to the US. Like taking a little time to enjoy a cup of Yorkshire tea and just thinking about all the excitement of the day. Those breaks are the best breaks, especially when struggling to do you assignments. They help you regroup your thoughts or just think back to the adventures you had with your friends that day. And if you really are struggling remember that your family is just a Facetime call away.
2. Will you make friends?
You will make so many friends, because just like you, other exchange students are looking for friends too. They are just as nervous as you and cannot wait to say hello on orientation day. Out of my time here in Hull, it is the friendships I made that I cherish the most. Friendships I know will last a lifetime, and it is my last goodbyes that I dread the most. With having an exam on the very last day of the month long exam period, I have already said some hard goodbyes. I hope that the goodbyes I said will not be forever. I plan to visit every one of them one day… hopefully in the not so distant future.
3. Are you going to get lost?
Defiantly! The best adventures happen when you are lost. If you get lost, just wander around you will find where you need to go, even if it takes you longer to get there. You can find amazing places you never would have found if you followed google maps. It makes you appreciate where you are. Nevertheless, if you truly having a problem just ask for help. There is always someone out there willing to help you. They can be the most interesting people with the best stories. Without having Wi-Fi or data, I had so much fun wondering around the streets of London and Nottingham on my week long trip I took alone. I found the best views of the city and places to eat that way.
Step as far out of your comfort zone as you can. You learn so much about yourself this way. And do not think about giving up, your friends will push and support you every step of the way. For spring break, my friends and I took a road trip through Scotland hiking more than 30 miles that week. I got to see views I never would have seen if my friends were not pushing me to keep going. Now all that time struggling up the side of the highlands in the sleet are some of my most precious memories. This semester has taught me so much about myself and I will forever cherish memories I made here. East Yorkshire will always have a piece of my heart.
Lastly, if you get the chance to study abroad take it. Studying Abroad may be one of the best part of your college career. You get to see the world in a whole new perspective and reflect on what values are important to you. I know I am a different person than the girl who stepped off the plane in January. More confidant, more willing to improvise in the worst situations, and more open to seeing what is going on in the world around me. It is sad to see this adventure coming to an end, but I see many more adventures abroad in the future.
University of Hull
|Here is some of my amazing friend on one of the last days we were all together. We walk by the sign every day to go to class and just so happened to be where the picket line was during the strikes.|
|Yes, its cream not red. Hull is the only place in England to have cream telephone booths because it has its own personal telephone company that monopolized the area.|
|Mine and Will Scarlet’s archaeology dreams came true after I spent the day visiting Stonehenge. Luckily I went when the weather was nice. Sunny days are rare here, in is almost June and we are still wearing winter coats on the rainy days.|
|One of the moments when I was in awe when looking over the city of Edinburgh from the ruins of an abbey on the Arthur’s Seat.|