Top Four Things I Learned Studying Abroad 

In June of 2022, I attended the Harry Potter Study Abroad Trip to London, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland. This was a short-term study abroad trip, meaning our coursework was done during the spring quarter. This trip was the first solo trip I had ever been on, and my first time in Europe! I learned so much and had some of the most memorable and adventurous experiences of my life thus far! 

Here’s what I learned:

1. Independence

This trip was the first I ever took without my family! I learned how to be independent and navigate an entirely new place without the help of my parents or older siblings. I did not have this experience when initially coming to DePaul because I am from Chicago. I teamed up with a buddy throughout this trip, and we had such an adventure! We knew that our professors were always an easy, quick text or call away, so we felt safe knowing there were people looking out for us. During study abroad trips at DePaul, typically you get free days or free time and you can decide how you want to spend it. During our trip, we went to see Harry Styles on our free day! 

2. New Interests

It was during this trip that I began taking social media seriously, which led to my now career. Our assignment during the trip was to make a vlog, so I began taking videos and pictures of EVERYTHING! My travel videos performed well on social media, and I continued this hobby when I came home. My study abroad vlog landed me this job at DePaul, which I included in my resume. In a sort of butterfly effect, my job role is now being a social media content creator and marketing specialist for two DePaul offices and my own personal accounts! 

3. Getting out of my comfort zone

I would consider myself to be introverted and generally reserved. During this trip, I made an effort to make friends and have genuine conversations to really get to know my classmates. I met one of my now best friends on this trip. We had not spoken to each other during the entirety of the spring quarter during the academic portion of the class. But, as soon as we got to the airport we instantly clicked and have been friends since. I am so glad that I made an effort to get out of my comfort zone by building connections and forming a unique bond with my fellow students. 

4. Value of Travel + Gratitude

For my entire life I have loved traveling, but this trip truly put into perspective how valuable traveling is to me. This was my first trip since the pandemic began, and after two years of no travel, I was reminded of how much I love it. Traveling acts as a mind reset for me. When I get home from traveling, I feel inspired and spontaneous. I appreciate people and the things around me even more. I am reminded of how beautiful life is and how grateful I am to have experienced this. I am grateful that DePaul and my professors set up such an incredible adventure for us students. I will think about this trip for the rest of my life and it will stay with me during every trip I go on.