Kevin Cowan studied abroad in the UConn in London program during the spring semester, 2011.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” These were the words of wisdom my father gave me as I stood in the airport about to begin the most influential trip of my life. I maintained eye contact with my parents as I made my way through the security check in and rounded the corner to the gate. I knew that the next time they saw me, I would be a changed individual.
And that is exactly what studying in London did for me. After completing a volunteer internship program, I know I am a more confident and well-rounded person. After traveling around Europe with no guardians or agendas, I know I can handle any uncomfortable or obscure situation. And most importantly, after four months of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, I know what I am capable of as a person.
Breaking out of my shell and trying something that I never dreamed I could do absolutely changed my life for the better. Before studying in London, I had never walked in a city by myself, but there I was strolling from Piccadilly Circus to St. Paul’s Cathedral without missing a step. I had never traveled by myself, but there I was booking an airfare and directing myself through the city of Rome. I never had the confidence to try something new, but here I am writing an article about how much a 4-month trip changed my life.
I feel like it is almost a cliché to say how studying abroad “changed my perspective on life.” But only a few months removed from my semester abroad, I already see how my experiences have sculpted my life into something better. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel grateful I made the decision to study abroad.