My Study Abroad Year Ruined Me

Honestly, despite the fact that it was my best year ever, it was also my worst…

Trying to capture the memories
Let me explain. So for my study abroad year (which if you are wondering, is a pass/fail year that is taken in the third year of university before returning to finish the final year) I studied at CSUMB in Monterey, California. I met so many wonderful people, I explored so many exciting and stunning places, did so much that was new and thrilling and then I returned to a rainy miserable Leeds, UK. I am now finishing my final year, just willing the year away so I can have done with being stuck inside doing work and have some freedom again.

Last year I explored Monterey, Carmel and the surrounding area; camped and hike in Big Sur; went to San Francisco; road tripped up to Oregon; went to LA for thanksgiving; lived in Santa Cruz for a month over Christmas; went to Lake Tahoe skiing for my birthday; road tripped up to Canada and back stopping at Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria and back; went to Vegas for a long weekend; went to Hawaii for spring break; road tripped down to Santa Barbara; and then I travelled from West Coast to East Coast for a month by train, plane, and bus all before returning home after 11 months of being in America.

So, maybe you can understand why I am now back in my second semester in my final year and slightly resenting the fact I cannot just step outside and there is sunshine, I cannot just walk for 10 minutes and come to a beach where I can watch wild dolphins and whales from the shore.

One thing that my study abroad year did make me realise was how much I love the outdoors, how much I love to explore and find new beautiful places. This came back to England with me, I have realised that I do live in a beautiful area, and there is much more to Leeds/the North of England than just staying in the city. Wherever I am, I notice a lot more and appreciate a lot more. I also met so many people from different countries and was exposed to so many cultures, and now I feel like wherever in the world I may visit, I will always know someone who will make the place feel familiar.

All in all, I would 100% do it again and recommend a study abroad year to anyone, but just realise that facing reality again is not quite a walk in the park.


6 Replies to “My Study Abroad Year Ruined Me”

  1. Seen your comment on first Friday, this is a great wee blog full of interesting content (people love travel content on here). The site is also very easy to navigate and the design is easy on the eyes. The only thing I would recommend is communicating with the community on here a lot as it means more views and visitors. Keep up the good work though!


  2. Saw your comment on first Friday. It’s so fascinating to me that abroad for you was coming to Cali. I was a little confused at first until you mentioned your hometown! My sister lives in the U.K. And feels the same way about the weather. (We are from Florida) looking forward to reading more about your life and travels!

    Much luck!


  3. I’m abroad at the moment (in Italy, but my home University is York) and I’m really worried about going back to England! I’m a person who loves sun and I am not looking forward to winter in Northern England again. Have you got any advice about what I can do to prepare for my return back? Did you find that any lot of your relationships with old friends had changed when you got back? I hope you’ve settled back in a little more now x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! When I was abroad I didn’t even think about how I would be when I got back, but I think the fact california is so far away and so expensive just added to it even more so! My house mate did a study abroad in Venice and I don’t think she had the same withdrawal as me as it is so cheap for her to go back/travel anywhere in Europe at any time. It’s the fact I know that I may never see my friends again which is the most heartbreaking bit as the area was beautiful but it’s just so far away! I have to say I do miss the sun, however I did quickly return back to university life and I didn’t linger on ‘adapting’ back however it’s as though my year was a dream and I sometimes forget it actually happened as it seems too bizarre! Everything with old friends was exactly the same as before I went away, in England I found nothing changes (one of the frustrating things about having a new travel mentality) everyone was still moaning about the same thing, etc. It doesn’t help that this has been the hardest university year, just try not to shut yourself off and I found joining a new club (I say new I didn’t do any in 1st or 2nd year haha) kept me busy! I don’t know if I’ve just rambled or this helps at all but feel free to ask/chat to me about anything! And make the most of your study abroad year! X

      Liked by 1 person

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