The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Taliah Carmona, class of 24
My Breakthrough: Life as a Hard of Hearing Student
Taliah Carmona, Guest Writer • December 5, 2023

As the end of my senior year approaches, I’ve reflected on my last four years, which have been nothing but remarkable. I found myself finally...

Jones at a game versus SUNY Fredonia
From First Baskets to Lasting Legacies: My Journey to Le Moyne's Historic D1 Debut
Darrick Jones, Guest Writer • December 5, 2023

The Ted Grant Court at Le Moyne College has become my new proving ground, where the squeak of sneakers and the roar of the crowd serve as the...

A full commuter parking lot on campus, Lot C and CC
Alleviating the Parking Headache at Le Moyne
Corinne Becker, News & Features Editor • December 5, 2023

To say parking is a pain at Le Moyne is an understatement; between closed lots, tickets on windshields, and unauthorized vehicles taking up spots,...

Social Media and Self-Esteem: How to Manage Social Media Use
Mai Al Janabi, Staff Writer • December 1, 2023

Social media usage is often linked to self-esteem issues and mental health concerns, but given the advent of social networking sites, avoiding...

The Launch of the New Gender, Women, and Sexuality Center
Danny Mondelli, Assistant Editor in Chief • December 1, 2023

On October 18th, Le Moyne unveiled its new Gender, Women, and Sexuality Center in Reilly Hall. The event was organized by Dr. Farha Ternikar,...

Dolphins do Europe: Challenge Mode

Is studying abroad tough? That’s not a question that gets asked very often, but it’s an important one to consider if you’re thinking about studying abroad [and if you’re not thinking about it, think about it.] Like any good question, there is not a clear or definitive answer.

Short answer: Yes and no.

Long answer: Okay, saying “yes and no” is totally a cop-out, so I apologize. It’s true, though. I’ve found that studying abroad has its fair share of challenges, some of which are obvious, but not all of them are. Some may be specific to England, or Europe, or even just The University of Essex, but every study abroad opportunity will have its own unique series of hurdles. Here are just a few difficulties that I’ve encountered in my brief time in England.

You know that feeling you get when someone makes an inside joke and everyone gets it but you? Well, if you ever plan on studying abroad, then get used to that feeling. There are certain subjects that people often just assume are common knowledge.

For example, if I were to talk about Thomas Jefferson, David Letterman or Snooki, I could reasonably assume that everyone at Le Moyne would know at least who I was talking about. English people, when talking about pop culture or history, will often make the same assumption. In my Victorian art class the other day, we were discussing a painting created in 1853, and my professor said: “And, of course, we all know the significance of that year.” Yeah… nope. I was totally lost. Thanks to a quick Google search, I learned that the Crimean War began that year. But then I realized I knew nothing about the Crimean War.

My point is, I guess, that if you’re studying abroad, you should be prepared to be outside of the loop. You are probably not going to get every historical or pop culture reference. Can it lead to some confusing situations? Sure, but it’s also part of the fun. Don’t be afraid to ask what people are talking about, and who knows, you might even learn some stuff.

Food is another potential source of woe for the study abroad student. Some countries are known for their delicious cuisine. England is not one of those countries. Take a few seconds and try to name as many English foods as you can. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Okay, what did you come up with? Figgy pudding? Bangers and mash? Blood sausage? Does any of that sound appetizing? Exactly.

This does not need to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be a great thing. When studying abroad, you should definitely force yourself out of your comfort zone and try things that you never normally would, including new foods. Of course, you may still find that you don’t like the food [Jelly Babies… never again] but even if you don’t, at least you will know and have a fun story to tell later.

The toughest part of studying abroad, undoubtedly, is being far away from home. All of your friends that you love and depend on will be thousands of miles away. It feels almost like being a freshman again, and those feelings of being an outsider that I mentioned earlier can make the experience even tougher. Expect to get homesick occasionally, because it will happen from time to time. Heck, sometimes I even find myself missing the Le Moyne cafeteria [which speaks volumes about the food here.]

There is an upside to this too, of course. Just like freshman year, you’ll be forced to meet new people and make tons of new, awesome friends. I personally have met a ton of really cool people while I have been here. And if you find yourself really missing your friends back home, you can take solace in the fact that they will all be there waiting for you when you come home.

So, despite the difficulties, is studying abroad still worth it? It absolutely is, and I would encourage anyone who was considering studying in a foreign country to take the Nike approach: Just Do It.


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