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Study abroad programs are highly encouraged on UK’s campus, and most students who have studied abroad have only positive things to say about their adventures. Although my time abroad was an arduous experience, I am so glad I did it.

Before my study abroad trip to London, I was so excited and eager to go and have the most amazing time, but it ended up being the hardest four weeks of my life. I was extremely homesick, which I didn’t think I would be, and I suffered with anxiety for the duration of the trip.

At the time, all I wanted was to be back home in Kentucky. Looking back on the experience, though, I am so glad I went. I learned more about myself and the world around me in the span of one month than I have in the two years I’ve been in college. I had to learn how to navigate one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world all by myself, and I have so much more confidence in my everyday life because of this.

I also have a completely new appreciation for home that I don’t think I would have if I had simply stayed in Kentucky for the rest of my life. I missed the food, the people and the beauty of my hometown — something I thought would never happen as I have spent my entire life complaining about where I grew up.

I used to think I wanted to move to New York after college, but my time in London showed me that I’m not meant for a life in the big city. It led me to reevaluate many aspects of my life that I was so sure of before.

Although my time abroad was more difficult than I could have ever imagined, I would recommend it to everyone. Even though studying abroad is both financially and mentally challenging, the lessons you learn and experiences you have are priceless. There are scholarships through the Education Abroad Office here at UK that can help you with the expenses. The high cost should not be what holds you back from one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences of your life.