Arriving in England was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. As someone who had never before ventured out of the United States, going to another country has been incredibly eye-opening, especially since England is a country that is rich in culture and history. Walking down the cobblestone streets, it is quite surreal to see coffee shops and gelaterias standing alongside churches and towers that are older than my own country.
There are quite a lot more people than I thought there would be, particularly in the city of Oxford, and not just people from England. There are people from France, Italy, Japan, China, the Netherlands, almost any place you can think of. I never realized how much of an international city Oxford is. Additionally, everyone I’ve encountered has been exceptionally polite and friendly. Many cyclists on the street say thank you when I move aside to let them pass, and travelers on trains ask what I’m studying when they recognize my American accent.
Speaking of my studies, stepping onto the grounds of Oxford University was very humbling, as it is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. It is amazing to be given the opportunity to study in its classrooms. I’m sure my fellow classmates feel the same way. All the people I’m sharing this experience with are just as excited as I am to be at Oxford. We knew we had to get some pictures on the first day to commemorate the moment.