Well it is a bitter/sweet time as things are wrapping up here in Bangor, Wales I only have four more days until I am back in Minnesota. I have had an amazing time and I am truly blessed that I have had the opportunity to come to Wales for a semester. To anyone considering studying abroad I say “DO IT!” I have met so many people from all over the world, made life-long friends, and done things I could have never done if I stayed at Concordia for the semester. I know it is a huge decision and it can be very scary but I promise you will never regret it. I have learned so much living in another country and I can’t wait to share all those experiences with my loved ones and friends. One of the best cultural experiences I had was celebrating a British Christmas dinner with my flatmates. I learned all about their customs at Christmas time. Some of which were similar to the U.S. but others that are common for them. In the picture below you will notice that we all have crowns on our heads they are part of a tradition where everyone has a gift called a “Christmas cracker” in front of their plate. You each hold on to the crackers and pull them apart. Inside you get a joke, small toy, and a crown. Everyone wears their crown throughout the rest of the meal. Almost every family does this during their Christmas meal.
Below are a few suggestions I have for anyone who wants to study abroad.
- Take lots of pictures!
- Make a budget for you money before you leave.
- Meet the locals.
- Write a journal (you may think you will remember everything but you don’t and it is nice to have a written reminder).
- Try the local cuisine.
- Travel as much as you can. Don’t just stick to the area you are living.
- Most Importantly……HAVE FUN!