My dear bloggers, I’m so sorry for my brief and unplanned hiatus. Between an 80 page dissertation, 3 moves and 4 jobs in the past 2 months, I’ve had my hands tied and my time accounted for. Needless to say, I haven’t devoted the time to educating the masses on life across the pond that I would have liked to.
With that said, I do have some exciting news. As I may have mentioned in older blogs, much of my blogging over the past year has been done as a student ambassador with LUIP whilst acting as a representative of Brunel University. This meant I had opportunities to attend events organised exclusively for ambassadors, including a trip to the top of the Shard, a tour through Parliament, a trip to Cambridge, and an entrepreneurial workshop (to name a few). This also meant, however, that I was bound by my scholarship and given incentives to highlight the more “positive” experiences of studying abroad and save the “negative” experiences for quiet [unpublicised] office chats. While there are plenty of perks studying abroad, it’s equally important to highlight the rougher experiences, and even the regrets, of doing so in order to give a balanced picture and allow potential international students to make an informed decision.
And thus, my goal in the forthcoming weeks will be to give you as much of that less-talked-about information as I can. Without the chains of presenting a perfect student life or-I’ll-lose-my-scholarship around to my feet, I’m going to go deeper into the real pros and the many cons of what living and studying abroad looks like. I’d like to emphasise that this is from the perspective of a white cis-female from the States, so please be mindful to keep what I say here in context. While I’ll go a bit into some of the more general struggles foreigners may face when choosing to study abroad, I’ll go much deeper into the specifics of the issues that I’ve faced during my time in London. Namely, some of the things I plan to go into are:
1. Life as an International Postgraduate student at Brunel University
2. Life as a feminist living abroad
3. What it’s like job-hunting in a foreign country
4. The ups and downs of being so far from home
5. Dealing with landlords in a foreign country
6. “American-ness” abroad – the stereotypes, the privileges
I’ll probably go into some more detail, too, about the struggles of being a foreigner, though this will be paraphrased from dear friends’ experiences and not so much from my own (you’ll read more about why in “American-ness” abroad).
So there are things to look forward to here, and I haven’t abandoned you yet, blogosphere. Sit tight and more of these blogs will be rolling out over the next several weeks. You can’t get rid of me that easy!