The allure of studying abroad has been on my mind since I was kid, watching the Olsen twins depart on foreign adventures filled with wonder and excitement.
Although my trip to Oxford, England wasn't quite up to par with the movies, it was still an experience I wouldn't trade for the world.
I departed knowing only one girl - my suitemate - and came home with countless new friendships and memories. Our group of 16 Geneseo students grew closer through our shared experiences overseas, which we took complete advantage of in the four short weeks we spent in Oxford.
There is never a dull moment when you're in a foreign country - even one so similar to ours as England. We visited the site of Shakespeare's grave, took a tour of the Queen's weekend home at Windsor Castle and traveled London to take in scenes most only see on postcards. We were even able to take a short vacation to Paris, where we experienced a new culture entirely.
Although Oxford was small, there was plenty to do: the pubs were crawling with locals eager to share stories and compare differences in accents, the river nearby advertised punting (a laughable experience, to say the least) and the university itself held so many historical treasures that it was impossible to take it all in during our short stay.
It was sometimes difficult to concentrate on the class itself, but it was interesting to learn about humanities while in the country where most of the authors we studied lived and wrote. My friends and I even met a few tutors at New College who were willing to expand upon the Geneseo curriculum, providing their own insight on the books we were reading.
By the end of our trip we had nearly mastered the art of British slang and made a number of friends living in Oxford and surrounding areas, many of who I'm still in contact with months later. We tried, and enjoyed, the infamous fish n' chips, read Locke where Harry Potter was filmed and took the classic picture of ourselves walking across Abbey Road.
Near the end of our adventure, we were absolutely convinced that we could stay in Oxford as locals, never tiring of its historically infused buildings and countless opportunities for adventure.
Studying abroad was, without a doubt, one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. True, the cost is less than ideal and the thought of taking a class over the summer is somewhat sickening, but the benefits far outweigh these details. I strongly encourage everyone who has the opportunity to take advantage of at least one of the many study abroad programs that Geneseo has to offer. I'm definitely glad I did.