The “Abroad” in Study Abroad

By Libby Rose ‘19

(second of two posts by Libby Rose about studying abroad)

During my study abroad program at University College London (UCL), I had four weeks off after classes ended to travel, and I learned so much about myself through that experience. I went on a European tour with two of my friends who were studying abroad at Cambridge. In just two weeks, we went to Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Florence, Naples, and Marseille. We had two nights in each city, so the entire trip felt a little non-stop. I know it seems like a lot, but it was so much fun! We tried our best to just enjoy and relax in each city we visited. We made an effort to actually not go to every tourist attraction, museum, and lookout point. If we had gone to every single tourist stop, we would have been exhausted by the end of the trip. I don’t even know if we would have made it!

Some of the highlights from the trip include: trying Bavarian sausages in Berlin, eating a huge soft pretzel in Munich, eating fondue in Zurich that was more expensive than all the money I spent in Naples, doing a wine tasting in the San Lorenzo food market in Florence, having the best pizza and gelato in Naples, touring Pompeii, and seeing the harbor in Marseille. Apparently, all of my fond memories have to do with the food! It was the trip of a lifetime, and I am so glad I got to experience it with my friends from Pomona. If you have the chance to study abroad and enough funds for some extra travel, this is something to look forward to, since about half of Pomona students study abroad.

I grew up a lot during my study abroad semester. I used to be scared to travel alone or ask people for directions. I was afraid I would get lost on the Tube (the London subway) or take the wrong train. Now, all of that seems so easy to me because I pushed myself to try. As a bonus, I learned to travel well and pack light. I also learned how to live alone and cook for myself—very good life skills! Coming back from abroad, I feel like so much more of an adult than I was before. Maybe I will revert back to my old ways after eating at dining halls again and living in such close proximity to my friends. Regardless, I am so grateful for my experiences in London and traveling around Europe.