Janice’s Journey: Studying Abroad in Plymouth

This lighthouse, Smeaton’s Tower, was one of the stops in Janice’s journey. Photo Credit / Janice Tieperman
This lighthouse, Smeaton’s Tower, was one of the stops in Janice’s journey. Photo Credit / Janice Tieperman
This lighthouse, Smeaton’s Tower, was one of the stops in Janice’s journey. Photo Credit / Janice Tieperman

This lighthouse, Smeaton’s Tower, was one of the stops in Janice’s journey.
Photo Credit / Janice Tieperman

Janice Tieperman
Staff Writer

It seems pretty customary for American students to record their adventures while studying abroad; therefore, in typical follower fashion, I’ve set up a blog of my own as I embark on a semester in Plymouth, England.

This whole process has been a wild ride from the very beginning.

Having always dealt with fairly severe anxiety, doing anything out of my comfort zone has been a struggle.

Be it for vacation or mission work, I’ve traveled to fairly distant locations in the USA over the past few years.

Each journey strengthened my personal resolve, but nothing quite put me over the edge like traveling and studying internationally.

The idea of something so far away and so independent scared me like nothing else, but it consistently remained something that I wanted to do.

Eventually, the fear of the unknown was beaten out by my desire for new adventures and experiences, and the ball started rolling in early 2016 for this journey.

I have just completed my third full day in the UK, and I can honestly say that I have never felt luckier or blessed in my entire life.

Every person I’ve met has their own story to tell, and has taken their own journey to get to Plymouth, be it for a semester, a year or an entire degree.

It’s been somewhat reassuring that I’m not the only one needing some time to adjust to the “Sorry?” and “Cheers!” phenomenon that seems to be commonplace here.

The most noticeable difference between the UK and the US is that society of Britain just generally seems more balanced and caring than that of America.

They make a noticeably greater effort to protect their environment (though it doesn’t hold a candle to Germany, so I’m told), and everything is incredibly accessible to public, be it groceries, healthcare or housing.

Though the nation is still floundering following the Brexit movement, the country is already so many strides ahead of America in figuring out how to keep its citizens well-cared for.

It’s honestly incredible to see how two nations that were once connected have taken such great strides in opposite directions.

Now seems like the appropriate time to throw in a “cars drive on the wrong side of the road comment,” but I think I’ll save that for another blog post.

I can’t wait to see what the next few days in weeks have in store for Plymouth University and its students.

Cheers!

Email Janice at:
jtieperman@live.esu.edu

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