Not to sound, I don’t know… depressing, but I still can’t tell if I made the right decision to study abroad.

It’s not that this country is boring, or bleak, or dull, it’s just different. Coming here is bringing me back to the freshman year I never really had at Rollins. Meeting new friends and new people, being constantly confused about the local area, not understanding how the modules work, and feeling lonely, you can’t tell me that doesn’t sound like someones first year at college. I have gratefully made a nice group of friends from the very first welcome dinner for international students, but I can’t help but miss being back with my friends at home. It would be easier if my coursework was more immersive, but the modules are 2 hours long once a week. The lectures seem very detached and the labs are very uneventful. I feel like the “teachers” here aren’t as qualified when it comes to the computer science courses and I find myself to become easily bored or distracted. Finishing the lectures, I find myself confused with what to do with the rest of my day. I have a course every day of the week for a mere two hours and then I’m own my own. I’m explored my nearest surroundings and have taken advantage of the free admission to museums and a lot of the local gems, but what can I do next?

London is quite expensive and it’s expensive to even be on campus. Having to pay a high price for laundry, using public transportation, and a lot of trial and error with cooking have caused me so many headaches. The accommodations are very poor and most of my facilities don’t work ( I also just received an over rack for my oven, FINALLY). I can’t help but feel a bit scammed when it comes to the whole study abroad experience and a lot of my friends here feel the same. The food served here is poor quality, the professors aren’t approachable, my living situation is sad, the coursework is confusing, and I’ve never felt so isolated. I guess the issue is really the lack of things to do that are readily available on a college student’s budget. With so much free time and not so difficult classes I find myself sleeping more, eating through Netflix specials, and constantly Face-timing.

The most upsetting thing is I don’t really know when I’m going home. I end classes March 29th, however, I have one exam in May where the date for the test is still unreleased. I could be home the beginning of May, or early June, or even the end of March at this point. It’s all very unclear and frustrating.

I’ve adjusted to the city culture and London very well. I have visited here quite a few times before so I knew what I was getting into, except from the academic standpoint. The weather is whatever, the people are very diverse, the city is full of history, and there’s so much life here, but man am I bored. I do have several trips and endeavours lined up, but I wish the campus and the courses were actually enjoyable.

Wish me luck,
Jess

One thought on “5 weeks down, ?? to go

  1. Hi, Jess. I’m sorry things aren’t quite like you expected them to be. I’m glad you have found some friends, though! A lot of students are surprised by how expensive just existing in London can be, and they are also confused as to what to do with all their free time! Maybe you’ve already exhausted this list, but here’s a link to some cheap things to do in London: https://www.angloitalianfollowus.com/london-on-a-budget. And who knows, maybe learning to be bored in a new city is an adventure all to itself! When I studied abroad, I enjoyed just walking around the city, people-watching, and reading/writing in parks or cafes. If you want to talk more about your experience or if you have anything you think we could help with, please feel free to reach out to myself or the other Global Engagement Coordinator at globalengagement@rollins.edu.
    –Mary

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