Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Back in the States

On the flight home, I was really excited to see my family and to be home.  When I landed in America, my phone started exploding with texts and calls from family and friends who were excited for my arrival.  It was an amazing feeling to know that people were genuinely excited to see me, and that I had a functioning iPhone with a phonebook full of contacts.  Unlimited texting and data, and access to mobile facebook and email were also great things about touching down in the states.  My parents picked me up at the airport in Indianapolis at midnight and we made the 2.5-hour journey home.  The stars were breath taking; after being in London for so long, I had forgotten how beautiful they are.  We went to our house and I put my bags down in my room.  I looked around my room and actually felt like I lived in a department store.  Seeing the full closet of brands I was familiar with, and having more than three pair of pants… and it was all my size! The moment of looking around at the perfume bottles and dresser of makeup actually felt like a glimpse of Heaven.  After living off of one suitcase for three months, I finally understood how privileged I am.  My mom had put a Tiffany & Co. decorated Christmas tree in my room with presents underneath, and I got to open welcome home/pre-Christmas gifts.  It was great to by with my parents again; it literally took the entire winter break for my mom and I to catch up.

After the initial surge of happiness, I started to feel pretty sad about leaving my friends.  All of the kids who studied in London agreed that it was the best time of our lives and we have made closer friends there than we have at school or at home; as the days went on, we Skyped each other and texted, but it was not comparable to living next door.  After meeting the students who studied in London, there was a definite disconnect with my friends from home.  I was hopeful that we would pick up where we left off right away, but the transition was rougher than I had anticipated.  I matured a lot while I was away, and it was hard to get used to the lifestyle my friends live.

I have started my final semester at Butler, and it is definitely different than the U.K.   I had forgotten how demanding American University is, and have had a hard time adjusting to the workload.  The hardest part is transitioning back into the social sphere.  I have been away from school for a whole year, first to move to New Jersey for an internship, then to study in London.  I started to feel really isolated because I could not share my experiences, and my friends all had spent the past year together creating memories that I was not a part of.  I also really miss the freedom and activity that London provides.  We had the chance to explore whatever we wished, but the options are rather limited in Indianapolis.  I have the “travel bug” in hopes of seeing the world again as I did while abroad.  Some of the students from London and I have discussed a reunion, and some loose plans have been made. So far, the transition into this semester has been much more difficult than I anticipated, but I am viewing it as a time to cherish my friends and family and rekindle old friendships.  This is the time that will strengthen long-time friendships and will prepare me to begin a career in Rhode Island this summer.  Overall, I would not have changed a single thing about the study abroad experience. I am so blessed to have met wonderful people, traveled the world, and gained insight on different cultures; I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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