Moving and Studying Abroad: My Two Cents

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

Emma Browning

In 2011, I graduated from East Carolina University with two Bachelor’s degrees. At this point, travel had become an integral part of my life despite me having absolutely no clue what exactly I wanted to do with the rest of mine. On a whim, I decided to apply to a master’s degree program at the University of Leicester in the UK. Long story short, I was accepted and began to plan for what would become one of the best years of my life. 

Do Something That Challenges You

Moving to a country where I knew no one was, to put it mildly, challenging. Most people ask me “how did you cope!?”. My answer is that I lived that year to its complete fullest and had zero regrets. Moving abroad was incredibly freeing, and I’ve had few adventures that made me feel more alive. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Meet New People

I’m the type of person that gravitates towards the dog(s) at parties. I’m also the type of person who, if you give me a stage, I will go full ham and never think twice about what people think of me. Luckily I ended up with flatmates that I still keep in touch with and made my time in Leicester incredible. Through them and lots of random mini adventures where I wasn’t afraid of putting myself out there, I met people from dozens of cities and many countries. In short, I was the happiest I had ever been. 

It’s Hard. Just Plain Hard

There were times when I felt so frustrated I wanted to scream and so overwhelmed I cried. That’s normal. Looking back, I’m glad I experienced those hard times. All of my close friends were on a completely different continent and time zone. I had one friend nearby who also studied abroad, but we had vastly different experiences. My degree program was challenging on a level I didn’t know existed, and despite speaking the language, the culture shock was very real. 

It Was Worth Every Second

I explored more of the UK than most people who are born there. I got to see the Queen. I hiked part of Hadrian’s Wall. I saw a play in one of Shakespeare’s theaters. I became an expert in medieval oyster analysis. I had the adventure of a lifetime. I saw all of the tourist attractions. I saw places no tourist ever gets to see. I got to see the excavation of Richard III. I became a new and improved version of myself. 

Always Look Back to Move Forward

I look back on my time there with so much love I can’t explain it. It is still one of the best times of my life, and I don’t think anything will ever replace it. Nothing will take it away that’s for sure. I’m the type of person who values experiences and memories more than physical things. That year was my ultimate experience. Since moving back, life wasn’t as exciting or fulfilling. Since then I’ve managed to change that for the better. Whenever I feel stuck, I always think back to that pivotal year of my life and steer myself towards something I think I would enjoy just as much. 

Just Do It. It’s Worth It.

If you’re thinking about moving or studying abroad, my answer is always GO. Don’t listen to anyone else around you. If you feel it in your bones, you will regret never taking that chance. Go explore a new place. Make new friends you will never let go of. Have those unforgettable experiences. Yes, you will most likely get hurt emotionally at some point, but it forces you to make yourself a stronger and better version of yourself. Go make that change. Find your own Leicester. It’s worth it.  

Published by Emma Browning

Hey everyone, my name is Emma Browning. Thanks for stopping by. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance woman since I basically do a little bit of everything. Here's a few of my jobs/hobbies in case you're curious: Group Fitness Instructor (Zumba, BodyStep and BodyPump), small business owner (string art& travel photography), archaeologist/anthropologist, actress, SCUBA dive master, reading addict, dog mom, cellist, and of course travel enthusiast. I've traveled to over 21 countries and speak French fluently and am learning Spanish. Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do whether it be a day trip with my dog or a massive international adventure. I created this blog to help others see the world vicariously through my wanderings and also to give useful tips and essential information that will hopefully inspire more people to travel. Hopefully you have as much fun reading these posts and get a lot of useful information from them!

6 thoughts on “Moving and Studying Abroad: My Two Cents

  1. Loved it, specially when you said: “Yes, you will most likely get hurt emotionally at some point, but it forces you to make yourself a stronger and better version of yourself”. I am in that point right now, living abroad in The Netherlands

    1. It gets better! It’s SO tough to move far away, especially to another country. Lots of my friends thought it was a walk in the park for me and I kept saying uhh no it’s really hard. Worth it. But so hard. You’ve got this!

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could
    do with some pics to drive the message home a little
    bit, but instead of that, this is great blog.
    An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

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