Conversations on Studying Abroad

Study Abroad Won't Be Easy, but It Will Be Worth It

Aug 23, 2017 11:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

CAPA_MaitaAnkrum_London_Headshot.pngMaita is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Kinesiology major at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

In her last post, Maita talks about what she gained from study abroad, and the new perpective she has on life before returning home.


In an exit internship interview, I was asked the question of whether or not my expectations I had prior to departing for London were met.  In more than just my internship, the expectations I had for study abroad exceeded more than I could have ever imagined.  I am leaving London truly feeling as though I’ve done it all, alongside the greatest people and with a piece of my heart now left in the best place.

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I am a strong believer in the fact that everything in life has a purpose, and in my life specifically, studying abroad was something that happened to be included.  In my first couple of days in London, I was skeptical of whether or not I made the right decision in leaving everything I was comfortable with at home, for a longer time than I have ever been away previously.  In sitting here writing this post, I am so confident in the fact that I did, make the best decision in coming here.

If you were someone who is contemplating whether or not you should study abroad, I would tell you to jump right into the opportunity.  I won’t lie to you and tell you that it will be easy; instead, I’ll be honest with you and tell you that it will be incredibly worth it.

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Study abroad because you can go from being a tourist to a part-time local who gets annoyed with other tourists.  The other day, my friends and I went to watch the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.  Following the ceremony, I found us all to be complaining about the tourists that were making the area so busy, when we ourselves, were once the tourists that everyone complained about.

Study abroad because it forces you to grow.  Just as it was in going to college for the first time, studying abroad is an experience that forces you to mature a little bit.  You’re essentially thrown into a brand new culture and left to figure things out for yourself, such as public transportation.  Especially in a program such as London’s study and internship program, you learn to live a day-to-day life as a student and employee as opposed to simply vacationing.

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Study abroad because you’ll make lifelong friendships, with people who you would have never previously met.  As cliché as that statement may be, I am truly walking away from this experience with the greatest relationships.  The only times that I was alone in the past six weeks was in my commute to and from work.  From exploring the city to eating dinner, I was constantly with people and I loved every second of it. 

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As you may have read from my previous posts, I am living in a flat with people from all over the United States, all of whom I would have never known if it weren’t for this study abroad program.  I’m having such a hard time believing that I’m not going to be surrounded every second by my new people pretty soon.  Instead of living down the hall, in the bunk above or up the stairs from my new best friends, we will soon be living across the country from each other.  I guess I am lucky, though, in the fact that I now have part of my heart in so many different places.

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I’m so excited to go home and see my family and friends, be able to dry my clothes in a drying machine and to eat a home cooked meal, but now, I am going home with memories that are going to make me look back and miss the time that I’ve spent here in London.  From exploring London, watching movies, endlessly eating, staying up too late and waking up too early, these people and this place quickly became a part of my expanding world.  I am so blessed to have had this experience.

- Maita

Thanks Maita!

Maita's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.

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Topics: London, England, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations