Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Study Abroad

There's nothing quite like studying abroad to broaden the mind. I've spent half my life studying abroad although I'm not sure whether it was the first half or the second half. The 'study' part is, of course, only a part of what you do when you "study abroad". By actually living abroad for six months you do everything else that one normally does in six months living at home or at college. You have a social life, make friends, learn how to use funny money and even, perhaps, drive on the wrong side of the road. You learn how to eat, and enjoy, different foods, wear different clothes (such as pac-a-macs) and how to behave decorously at the local pub.

One of the most popular study abroad programs at St. Mike's is the ASE Program in Bath, England. It's a great program because it is so well organized, you get to live with British students in downtown Bath, and teach little kids with strange accents. Bath, of course, is one of Europe's finest Georgian cities with a host of attractions such as the Roman Baths and the remarkable architecture of the Royal Crescent. It's also less than an hour from London by train and a day trip to Paris.

My dad grew up in bath so I know it really well. When I was a child we used to take a Thomas- the-Tank-Engine-like train ride from my home town of Bristol to Bath (15 miles) to visit my grandmother every Wednesday afternoon. We always had Spam sandwiches for lunch on the train.

Over the years I've been associated with many students who have studied, and lived in England, and watched them make British friends, and attend each other's weddings and vacation with each other with their families. There are also wonderful opportunities to study, and live, in Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia and just about anywhere but I suppose I like the ASE program because of its ties with my childhood roots, whether I was abroad at the time or not!!!!

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