Thursday, July 10, 2008

Studying Abroad

To this day I still say that one of the most memorable experiences of my life was my stint as a student in the UK. I will probably bring this up many more times in the future as I feel it really changed me. Next year it will have been 10 years since I left that country behind and yet it often feels like it was only a couple of years ago that I was waving goodbye to my Malaysian classmates in Heathrow. I've already mentioned three things about the UK that stand out to me, in another post. But what those years mean to me is in more than what was extraordinary, but also what was commonplace. The quaint Covent Garden in London, the little shop where I got a medieval wax seal, the old lady who gave me a token of a boot which was supposed to be for good luck, the artist who etched the very first pencil drawing of my dog (who has passed away now), the numerous, confusing stops in the Underground, the quiet scenery while walking to Buckingham Palace, the bus trips to the country, the small grocery stores and the dime a dozen Body Shops. I can go on and on. I always tell myself that I would love to have my kids experience that kind of a stay in another country. And I feel a certain kind of kinship for other people who do or have done the same thing. This exchange student had these experiences abroad as well. It's interesting to read about his situations and feel the similarities and differences to mine. Truly, studying abroad is a must.

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