Since I was very young, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all around the world. I’ve been to countless cities in multiple countries and have experienced many different cultures. Safely, I can say that traveling is in my genes; however, the thought of studying abroad seemed to be an invasion of an unfamiliar concept. I have travelled all my life, even so far as to participate in various exchanges for weeks at a time, but living away from home for 6 months… Now that is scary.
In many ways, I would easily make the cut as one of the most paranoid people that you would ever meet. When I was accepted into an exchange program to go to the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, there was no shortage of freaking out. Doubts raced through my mind, including if I had enough money or if I was mature enough to take on this experience, but all these concerns seemed to have diminished once I had landed into LHR as I quickly realized that it was apart of this experience.
Culture shock is something that has always affected me during my travels, and it is actually one of my favorite things as I love the feeling of getting lost in a culture. However, transitioning from my life in Vancouver to my temporary life in Hatfield was incredibly easy. I felt as if there were strong similarities that made the transition really relaxed. Furthermore, there were no language barriers.
One thing that really surprised me is the size of Hatfield as it is definitely incomparable to the larger size of Vancouver. That being said, getting around town is quite easy as most of the basic amenities are all walking distance away from the University. Even getting to the railway station is only a 25-minute walk if one wanted to head off into London or elsewhere in the UK. Furthermore, affordable buses are available for a one-way ticket from Hatfield to different stops in Central London for only 6 pounds!So far, though very early in my experience, I feel as if I still have a lot to learn about the country that I’m in. There are so many things that I have yet to try and nothing can explain how excited I am for the upcoming experiences to come.
Kyle is a third year Bachelor of Business Administration student studying abroad at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK.