Choosing England 1

St. Mary's Church in downtown Reading.  The University of Reading is home to over 17,000 students. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Millsaps)

St. Mary’s Church in downtown Reading. The University of Reading is home to over 17,000 students. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Millsaps)

Kayli Hertel – Global Correspondent 

When I started thinking about studying abroad, England never crossed my mind. I figured I’d go somewhere like Italy or Germany, but not England. I’m not sure what changed my mind. Maybe it was the English countryside or the appeal of the architecture I would see. Or maybe, it was just meant to be.

It was a difficult journey to get to Reading, England because it was a new location to the study abroad office. The moment my bus turned the corner onto campus I fell in love. The University of Reading is massive compared to Lasell; I live in a flat with 26 people, which is much different than living in Ordway House during my first year. In fact, everything here seems the opposite of Lasell.

This campus holds 17,040 students according to the university’s website, which is far from Lasell’s 2,061. While the classes I am in are roughly the same size as home, a lot of my flat mates go to lectures filled with 400 people. Instead of the five minute walk to Winslow it takes me 15 minutes to reach the humanities building. Then it takes me another 10 to locate my classroom because the building is a labyrinth

But at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade the world for it. I chose Lasell because of its size, but I look at the University of Reading as a way to do it all over again. This time I chose the fancy university with the enormous campus and lecture halls filled with new faces. Just like the first time around I know I made the right choice. Not only do I feel confident in my choice of university, but also I love that I chose the town of Reading.

Any time I want to go into town I have to take a double-decker bus, which has become less of an exciting feature and more of normalcy. My favorite part is when I walk down the street and see these beautiful, older buildings, retail stores like Top- shop and H&M, as well as small businesses surrounding me. Reading has a leisurely pace that I’d take over the bustle of London any day, not that it matters because it is just a 30 minute train ride away.

Applying for study abroad is a lot like starting college all over again. You have to think about the place you want to live, the people you want to surround yourself with and how the education you seek will take you to the next level. Every time I’m in my flat after a class I know that this trip is challenging me in every way possible and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Leaving England | Somebody Else's Lake

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