• Katie Trojak

Studying Abroad in the USA

That's right, I'm coming back to the US!

For at least the next 4 months, probably 9 months, I'll be living back in the United States.

With my course at King's College London, they offer a chance to study abroad for one semester during the second year of the course. I figured I'd take advantage of that and once I saw that they offered a lot of US options, the wheels started turning in my head.

In the end, I ended up applying for two US schools and then a few other international schools. I figured I'd make the decision for sure when we crossed that bridge, but I got into my first choice.

George Washington University in Washington DC.

The gate entrance at George Washington University

And as soon as I got the email last summer, I knew I was going.

Now everyone, including me, is laughing about how I'll be studying "abroad" in my own country.

There were a couple reasons why this was so appealing to me. One is that I'd have a chance to be close to my family for a bit. I'll still be a three hour train ride away, but that's better than a nearly 8 hour flight. I'll be able to visit home and my family will be able to visit me on campus as if I was just a normal college student.

I wanted to see what the US college experience is like. It's so different from the UK and though I love the way Universities here work, I'm excited to live in a dorm and have a campus and see the different education styles and everything else that comes with a US University.

I'm also very excited to live in DC for a few months. I study History and International Relations, with my focus being in International Relations, and DC is such a perfect place for that. I'm hoping to talk with NGOs while I'm there, get involved with peace keeping or international development research organizations, and learn more about our national government.

Not to mention it's a gorgeous city, I love all the white buildings and the architecture. I can't wait to go on a run and casually pass the White House or Washington Monument.

I'm hoping to get an internship as well, but that's still in the works.

Even with all the things I'm so ready for, there's so much I'm going to miss about London. This city just became my home and I love all the little corners that have become mine. And now I won't be there for about 9 months.

Waiting for the bus just outside King's College's Strand campus

I found someone to take my place in my apartment for the semester, which is great because I won't be paying for a room I'm not using. But I'm going to miss our house and living with my two best friends.

I'm going to miss all my friends. I've created a little family here and now I have to give them hugs and say goodbye for a while. Some of them don't know if they'll be in London next year, so I'm saying an even longer goodbye to them.

But that's life, I guess. Especially in a city as fast paced as London. And it's not a permanent goodbye.

As much as I am excited to see the US college education system, I do think that the UK tends to work better, at least for me. So I'll miss the essays I have to write and the way we learn. At least I'm coming back next fall.

It's going to be so strange being around Americans for this long. Any European here in London would say that I'm still extremely American, and I am, but I also have changed a lot. My parents have joked that it'll be a culture shock back in my own country.

And while that sounds silly, I think it will be.

An sky view of GWU's campus

I was complaining to my flatmate the other day about how no one will want to go to museums with me. I'm sure I'll find someone, but I'll still miss going to the London museums with people I'm guaranteed to have an exciting discussion about the artwork with.

Americans are a little crazy and while I've kept some of my American traits, other traits I've let go or at least tried to banish. So it'll be interesting to see how I react to being immersed in that again.

If you live in the US, make sure I see you while I'm in the States! Either catch me when I'm visiting home or come visit me down in DC. I'd love to see you.

If I'm leaving you in London, know that I am going to miss you so much and I'm already excited to come back.

I'm studying abroad in my own country. Here we go!

Let me know if you'd ever choose to study "abroad" in your own country or if you want to meet up while I'm in the US! Scroll through the rest of my articles to read more on London life, University, and travel and check back for more articles soon!


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