When I reflect back on my college years, many of my favorite memories are from the year that I studied abroad. Initially, I planned to spend one semester overseas, but once I got to Cheltenham, I wanted to stay. After experiencing the unique classroom experiences, amazing travel opportunities, and wonderful new friendships, I knew that a few short months would not be enough. After calling my parents on the hall phone to tell them of my plans, I contacted the Juniata Study Abroad office to begin making preparations for another semester. Despite the fact that I was away from home during the Gulf War, and we didn't have cell phones or email to communicate with family, I ventured out with fellow students to explore the rest of Great Britain. We even crossed the Channel and spent a month traveling Europe by train over Christmas break. The adventures I experienced and the life skills I gained had a major impact on my future.
The opportunity to learn first-hand about another country's school system also enhanced my skills as an educator. The personal growth I experienced at the local Church of England congregation and campus Christian Union helped me to mature in my faith. The relationships I developed with both American and English friends have continued for decades. And while I still am not a coffee drinker, my year in England developed my love for a daily cup of tea!