“Local students made the study abroad experience so special for me--from giving me a genuine look at what British culture was like to making sure I saw the best sights of London... giving me a tremendous reason to go back.”
I was watching "Sherlock" one day and really admiring all the little features that make London London when it dawned on me that I could see it for myself in person. Since that day I've never looked back.
Culture shock isn't a big deal in England. The most British thing I did was drink more tea than I usually do, which is already a lot. One thing that I loved about Europe is how intense they get about Christmas.
I was worried I wouldn't be about to take Computer Science classes since University College London (UCL) doesn't accept affiliates into their CS course. I was able to squeeze myself into one CS module to keep skills sharp, attended tech meetups in London, and joined the committee of a technology society at my uni.
Go to class, "study" with exchange or UCL friends, explore London a bit or attend some club or meetup event, and hit the pubs!
I took Approaches to Knowledge: Introduction to Interdisciplinarity, Science Meets Religion in the Global Community, London Before the Great Fire, and Computational Complexity.
Meeting a group of friends who study full-time at UCL. They truly made the study abroad experience so special for me--from giving me a genuine look at what British culture was like to making sure I saw the best sights of London and England and giving me a tremendous reason to go back, I really can't imagine how different my experience would have been had I not met them.
I feel more open and more confident. “Open” in the sense that I no longer feel like my path will lead to and terminate in Silicon Valley/the Bay Area. “Confident” in the sense that I know I will be able to take things into my own hands no matter what it is I strive to do.
Be cautious and aware that the humanities courses consist of a LOT of writing. If you come from a traditionally non-writing major, be forewarned that it's not uncommon to have eight, 8-page essays due in the last month of your studies. This would've been the case for me, but luckily my one technical course staved off two of those essays.