On this trip, my program spent a week in London and a week in Lisbon, Portugal. While both are cities, they could not be any more different. London is a large, bustling city that never sleeps. There is no shortage of things to do, with a café or pub on every corner, a million tours and museums to experience, and a million beautiful sights to see. But it is pretty western. It is hard to get that “European” feel that a lot of students are probably looking for when they go abroad. Yes, it was awesome, and I love London, but it really is just like any other big city in the U.S. Think Boston, think NYC. It’s a clean city, it’s massive, and there is a melting pot of cultures from all over the world. But the only thing I found that really separated it from a great U.S. city is the general accent and the obvious sights and sounds. It is go, go, go at all times, not the slower, easier life a lot of people feel the Europeans have. For the European feel, you go to Lisbon. Sure, it’s a big city. But there’s no sky scrapers or the hustle and bustle of London. There is a much more relaxed, slow-moving way of life here in Portugal. The city, while as historical and old as London in its own way, has a much more unique feel. The pride the people of Lisbon have about their city and country is so strong and apparent in all they do. That isn’t to say London doesn’t have that because they do in their own way. Lisbon is just very proud of their city. It has the “European” feel that I believe most students are looking for when they are wanting to study abroad. It’s a slower pace, they water is beautiful, and there is a little café to sit in and people watch anywhere you want to go. Both cities are great, and it has been really fun to see such a contrast in between both cities. I think it is really cool that UA gave my group the opportunity to experience such different cultures in such a short amount of time. Most people don’t get the chance to truly immerse themselves in the culture of two opposites while traveling, so it has been great to try and soak it all in!