- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Israel and Palestine
- United Kingdom
- Studying abroad on a multi-country program
The past couple weeks we have been lucky enough to participate in the World Cup festivities taking place in London. Though I do not have any personal attachments to the English team or soccer in general, the pure joy and excitement of the British people has proven extremely contagious. In fact, the atmosphere reminded me a lot of football season at Michigan. Just like in Michigan, watching the games consisted of thousands of people with different identities and personalities coming together in support of one team. It was during these game days, that I really gained an appreciation for the diversity in London. I felt super lucky to meet people from all around the world and hear their stories about how they ended up in London. I have realized that this diversity is one of the reasons I felt so comfortable during my time abroad thus far.
I have been in London for a month now. Currently most of my time is spent in my research lab at the Royal Veterinary College. My experience in this lab has been super different than my experience in the lab that I work in back at the University of Michigan. One notable difference that I have realized is the amount of money being given to labs in Michigan in comparison to those in London. For example, the researchers in London often reuse their gloves when possible in order to save money but in Michigan there are hundreds of boxes of gloves readily available. Furthermore, a lot of the research equipment in the lab in London is extremely old and outdated as compared to the equipment found in my lab in Michigan. This difference was surprising to me because I have always considered London to be an equally as developed city. Moreover, people in my lab in Michigan are always complaining about being underfunded. While this may be true, my time in London has showed me that valuable research is not as dependent on the amount of supplies one has or the quality of instruments available to them as I had thought before.
Today our group had our end of the program dinner. It is absolutely crazy to me how fast my time here has gone by. Growing up my mom and I didn’t have the money to travel and so I am extremely grateful to have gotten this experience to see the world. One of my favorite parts about London was definitely all of the amazing food. For our last dinner we had an Indian food feast at Cinnamon, a restaurant in Brick Lane. It was fun to try new dishes and compare the Indian food in London to that of back home (it was way better in London in my opinion). Some other amazing food I had while abroad was Ramen, gelato, pot pies, as well as goat cheese and caramelized onion burgers/salads/pizzas. Goat cheese and caramelized onion have actually ended up to be my new favorite combination of food. One thing I am surprised I did not try, as it is a popular dish in London, is fish and chips. However, I am hoping that I have the opportunity to go back one day so that I can make sure I do.