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Study Abroad

    What Traveling Abroad Taught Me About Life

    This post has been long overdue. I’ve had a sticky note with a rough draft of the key points written out for about four months and have been home for three and a half. So like I said, long overdue.

    Plus, I wasn’t sure if people were still interested in my study abroad experience since it ended months ago, but a quick Twitter poll convinced me otherwise. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to have a say in future posts!

    So as the title of this suggests, I’m going to be talking about what I learned while studying abroad. And honestly, it’s more general than that, and all that I’m going to talk about could easily be applied to any trip abroad I’d think. So whether you’re going to be living in another country for a week or for four months, reading this post might help you prepare for the mindset you’re going to be in while there, when you’re back and what to expect in general.

    Since I have had a lot of time to think about what’s going to go into this post, it’s going to be long. And maybe a little emotional. You’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

    WHAT TRAVELING ABROAD TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE | College with Caitlyn

    Going to Europe, going outside the country for the first time, or studying abroad, whichever you want to say caused it, changed me and made me want to make some changes to my life when I returned to the states. Some of these changes were good and affected me positively, while others made my mental health take a dive either while abroad or when I came back. Other things I learned didn’t want me to make changes to my life, they just shifted my outlook and view on life.

    We really are the same

    Everyone obviously has different traits and personalities and ways of doing things and accents and ways of life and appearances, but as cheesy as it sounds, we really are just human.

    Having never been out of the country before, anytime I would meet a foreigner or study abroad student, I was always fascinated by them. And I remember my classmates being the same in high school – always fawning over the new kids from Europe, Asia, Australia or where ever they were from. Read more…

    My Favorite Photos from Abroad (Scotland, Copenhagen, Madrid, London, Ireland)

    *This is in partnership with WikiBuy but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support College with Caitlyn.

    For someone who is so happy to be home, I sure haven’t stopped talking about being abroad have I? While I may not miss being in Europe, I do still want to remember the moments. And by following me anywhere online (or by knowing me in person) you know how obsessed with taking photos I am.

    I did share a lot of my photos in travel diaries and study abroad updates, but nowhere near the number of photos I took. Honestly, I have hundreds of photos I still haven’t edited, but I did comb through to make sure I had all my favorites out and ready to be posted and printed! Because yes, I am making a study abroad photo album!

    More on that later though, for now here are all my favorite photos from Europe ordered by country and city.

    Scotland

    England

    Ireland

    Denmark

    Spain

    Scotland

    Glasgow

    university of Glasgow in the snow

    Main gates of University of Glasgow in the snow

    university of glasgow

    University of Glasgow bell tower

    Eve statue in Kibble Palace on Glasgow Botanic Garden’s grounds Read more…

    What it Really Feels like to Come Home after Studying Abroad

    I’ve been home for about two and a half weeks now. The never-ending, “Tell me about Scotland,” “What was your favorite place?” and “Do you miss it?” have finally ended. But that also means the whirlwind of settling in and being back home is gone. I’m finally all settled and back at work and in my normal summer routine again just like every other person I know who studied abroad last semester. There’s just one difference, I don’t miss it like they do.

    In the past few days, I’ve seen so many people post photos or snaps with captions saying things like, “Missing this place.” And that’s just not me. Like I have hundreds of photos I could still post on my Instagram from Europe, but I don’t want to because I don’t have any good captions for them, and I don’t want to lie and say that I miss it. Because I don’t.

    I think I’m the only person I’ve known who has ever study abroad and not missed it. But I think my experience was a lot different than a lot of people’s. Either that or everyone is lying about how much they loved to study abroad (post on this coming soon). Maybe I’m the only weirdo who had a hard time adjusting to being back in my homeland, or maybe everyone else is romanticizing the experience too much. I don’t want to say too much about it now, but it had to be said to preface this post.

    What it Really Feels like to Come Home After Studying Abroad | College with Caitlyn

    Basically, I want to share the hard parts about coming home after studying abroad. Because life doesn’t just go back to the way it was when you left five months ago. At least, that’s not what happened for me.

    Maybe I had unusually harder than other people, but that means I can help other people who find the adjustment back hard, too. And help open people’s eyes about how to treat students who just got home from studying abroad if they’ve never experienced it themselves.

    Normal No Longer Exists

    While I was abroad I compared everything to the states. It was the only normal I knew. Driving on the left was wrong. Driving on the right was normal. Then I came home and accidentally drove done a small street on the left.

    Almost everything that was different to me there, became my new normal, so coming home felt wrong. It felt weird. Like I was driving home from work on evening, a road I drove every week before I left for Europe, and it felt wrong. Being up high on the freeway and seeing hills of trees all around and huge trucks and the sun beating down so hard. It used to be normal, nothing I would even bother to think about, but suddenly everything I once was so accustomed to was making me feel like an outsider in my own country. Read more…

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