I cannot believe my flight back to the states is tomorrow already. It is scheduled to depart in 25 hours.
This semester has undoubtedly been the best thus far. I can honestly say that Lafayette’s study abroad program is excellent. Although it was not one of the factors that originally attracted me, it is going to be one of the factors that will help me stay in touch with Lafayette long after graduation.
I recently visited Cambridge, the number one university in the world. The entire town consists of universities such as King’s College, Trinity College, Clare College, Queen’s College, St. John’s College, Churchill College, and the list goes on. Upon arrival to the town, I was told to go punting. At first, I thought they were talking about some kind of soccer or rugby type activity but in fact, punting is a boat ride. So, I took a tour along the canal that runs along these universities and was told stories of some notable alumni from these colleges. Some of my favorites included Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, David Attenborough, and Stephen Hawking, who still lives in the town!
I gained a new appreciation for education that day. Maybe it was the atmosphere of the town, maybe it was the culmination of the semester. It was probably a little bit of both. If you are a prospective student reading this, do not underestimate the importance of the decisions you are about to make. Think about what it is you want out of your college education and the direction you want to head over the next four years. It is not the size of the dorm room or the quality of food in the dining hall that is important but the options made available to you throughout college. My freshman year, about two weeks away from graduation, a senior told me something that stuck with me. He told me that college is what you make of it. At Lafayette, you can mold a unique and multifaceted education and I think a semester, or even interim, abroad is a vital component to that education.
The semester abroad is not all about the classwork (although it is a necessary component). I think the semester abroad is more about your continued growth into adulthood. That is, after all, a lot of what college is about. You enter a teenager and you leave a young adult.