Today’s post comes from ACCENT Community College Scholarship recipient Francisco Edeza. Reflecting on his time in London and marveling at the endless opportunities to discover history around every corner, Francisco describes how valuable the experience was academically and professionally.
As the sun rises and the day begins, I wake up, greeted by the sight of my alarm clock, the book I’ve been reading, and a lamp resting on my nightstand. I would assume that this sight is quite standard for most; however, there is a peculiar object that also rests on my nightstand: a small bust of Winston Churchill. As I lie in my bed, debating whether or not to start my day, I stare at this clay bust and begin to reminisce about the loveliest city I have ever visited.
Although many of my colleagues in the States viewed my trip to London as a vacation, I took it as my number one opportunity to immerse myself in the living history that stood within the city. It did not matter what direction you walked, you were always guaranteed to run into some landmark of historical significance and gain a new appreciation for something you once read in a textbook. Whether it was a storefront built during the Tudor age or blast damage from the Battle of London in WWII, London was a history major’s delight. It was simply jaw-dropping what this city and its residents had experienced through the ages. It was even more impressive that some of the businesses in London have been standing for centuries. A friend of mine joked, “Back in California we think an establishment is impressive if it was founded in the 1970s, but here in London their establishments have been standing since the 1700s”.
One of my favorite experiences while in London was visiting the Imperial War Museum, home to an excellent exhibit on the Great War, more commonly known as WWI. This may seem minuscule in comparison to all of my other experiences in Europe, but the reason I count this as one of my favorite London memories is that in the United States there are not many museums that focus on the Great War, due to our short involvement in it. Had I not taken the chance to visit their exhibit, it would surely have been a missed opportunity.
Unfortunately, my time abroad had to come to an end at some point, and I was forced to return to California. As I readjusted back to our American culture, there were many small habits that I picked up in London that I still found myself practicing, such as standing to the right when on the escalator. It was also difficult reminding myself that not every establishment here in America has contactless payment as an option like many of the storefronts in London. Lastly, I absolutely miss having a smooth and simple public transportation system. It has been an interesting transition back to life in California, though I would be lying if I said I didn’t completely miss my home state.
Studying in London was an eye-opening experience that I will never forget. I have fallen in love with the city of London and I hope to someday return to work on my Master’s degree. However, now that I am officially a resident of an international community, I also look forward to seeking new opportunities to visit other foreign countries, and to learn from and experience each of their own unique cultures.~Francisco Edeza, Golden West College
ACCENT is proud to support the Community College Scholarship as part of our commitment pledge to IIE Generation Study Abroad, a nationwide effort to help more U.S. students gain international experience through study abroad programs.
Did this post inspire you to study abroad in London? Open enrollment programs with ACCENT allow students of all educational and financial backgrounds to study abroad. Find a program that works best for you at: http://accentintl.com/find-a-program/. To learn more about the ACCENT Community College Scholarship, visit: https://accentintl.com/participant-information/accentscholarship/.