Where do I begin with my perspective as a student, specifically, a Lynchburg Hornet, in the midst of a pandemic?
First, I want to acknowledge that I could never say what virus I am referring to in this article, and you would still know. Turn on the news, get on Facebook, look at the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store, or basically talk to another human being, and you will hear about the Coronavirus. It has sparked conversation around the world, put masses into panic, and most impacting for me, it has moved my college classes online.
Recently, I saw a meme on Facebook announcing a girl was starting college at “Da Crib University.” I chuckled, yet at the same time, it is alarming to think about how seriously the virus is affecting everyone and that it has closed UL’s campus.
This week has been such a hectic and crazy week with everyone in my program and the world worrying about the Coronavirus that has been affecting so many people. The most affected country in Europe last week was Italy. As a result, everyone was on high alert. A lot of my friends who went to Milan for fashion week were actually scared that they might have been infected.
My friends who went to Milan for the weekend said that not only did they have to go through security to get on the plane, but when they got off the plane, they had to get a body scan in order to see if they were sick or had a fever. Some of my friends indicated that it was surreal, like something out of a movie.
Every year more than 300,000 students leave America to start their study abroad Journey. About 10 percent of college students will study abroad at some point in their college career. This allows for students to feel immersed in the culture that they are living in and better understand it. As students are in the country of their choosing there comes a time when they start to feel at home. Here are four stories of when students in Barcelona felt like they were home.
Abby Owen, a sophomore at the University of Texas, has lived in 2 countries in her lifetime. She grew up in Mexico then moved to the states when she was in middle school. She has also gotten used to calling places that she lived in her home. Owen has had many places to call home but now she is a Student in Barcelona.
Last weekend was Valentine’s Weekend, which meant that love was in the air, whether it be with a partner or just showing your friends love. Last weekend, I also got the opportunity to visit one of my bucket list travel locations: Paris, France.
I went to the city of love on the most commercialized love holiday of the year and actually loved it. It was everything that I expected Paris to be. Unlike my friends, who arrived in Paris on Thursday night, I arrived on Friday, allowing me to have all day Friday. My friends, on the other hand, arrived early Thursday morning, so they also had Thursday to explore the city.
When people think about Americans, a lot of things come into their minds. Being a student from America on a study abroad can also come with a lot of stereotypes. For example, we are too loud, we only want to party, we do not have respect, and the list can go on.
Being here, I feel like I have helped to change some people’s minds about how they will look at Americans. When people ask me where I am from, they are surprised that I say America, because I do not act the way that they expect me to, but then it also leads into a conversation about how I think about America and also the politics that are occuring. Here, I feel like people are more open to talk about risky topics and it is not too taboo.
I officially have been away for a month now and it feels like home each and everyday. This week started off as every week would go with the same routine of going to class, but this past weekend I traveled to London.
I have always wanted to go to London since I was a little kid. I loved the accents, the idea of royalty, and just being able to have high tea. The fact that I am studying abroad makes it so much easier to travel to different countries.
Traveling has always been something that I loved doing. It is a way to learn more about a culture that an average textbook can not tell you. Going into college, I always knew I wanted to do a study abroad, whether it be a J-Term or for a whole semester. I was scared at first of missing out on what was going on back home at Lynchburg, but then it just hit me that this place is now my other home
This semester, I am doing a semester abroad in Barcelona. I have been to this city before and knew that I needed to come back. Actually getting the chance to live here has been so amazing so far and I am excited to see what this semester has in store.