From across the pond: Mitchell Reports


Melanie Mitchell poses with Leicester, England Rowing Club.

Melanie Mitchell, Staff Writer

“You’re going to have the time of your life.” That’s what many wise folks told me would happen. At the time, I could only hope they were right. Now, I know they were “bloody” right! Studying Abroad for me has been the best experience of my life. Imagine, the light bulb clicking “on” and you finally learn all the things you’ve been told “you will understand when you’re older.” Things like who you should trust, who your real friends are, confidence and the meaning of pure fun. My semester abroad at De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester, England has already taught me these lessons and more.

I believe nothing worth having comes easy, so it’s safe to say the road here had a few bumps. I questioned if I could really be a world away from my family for over three months. I didn’t know how I could handle the academic pressure to excel in a foreign classroom and not to mention, finances. I was excited but not fully confident in myself. Nonetheless, I boarded my first flight ever, happy as could be to finally start this journey.

The morning I landed in London early September, I remember that little thing called “culture shock” hitting me like a sack of potatoes along with the much colder English air. It was great to see such a culturally diverse city for the first time not mention all of the sites of London, my favorite being “Big Ben.” After London, I traveled to DMU where I was greeted with a beautiful campus and smiling faces ready to help. Arriving with the other pilgrims from FMU and many other international students was very comforting.

Just like at FMU, I quickly got involved on campus. I joined Demon Media, an outlet for students to gain media experience from radio, broadcast, and newspaper. I also joined the Rowing Club. I wanted to do something active so I decided to pick an activity I couldn’t do at FMU. Although I will not be getting into any boats since my swimming skills are not up to par, I continue training like the best of them which was my original goal.

Currently, I’m recuperating from my recent trip to Paris, France and Venice, Italy. I happen to have two friends that are world travelers, like me so I was able to experience two new cultures while spending time with them and indulging in what felt like a familiar life.

Metaphorically speaking, studying abroad for me has opened up a can of beautiful worms. I was forced to be confident and step out of my comfort zone. I know when to trust and when to play the defense. Already I’ve made so many priceless memories and the best part is my time here’s not over yet! I have less than two months to finish this semester strong and leave my mark on DMU campus. There is more fun to be had so until I say “See you later” to England bright and early December 20, I will continue to work hard and have the best time of my life!