Saying goodbye to new friends

The Drexel in London program at FIE also hosts students from Elon University and University of Florida. Upon arrival in London I thought I would really only be interacting with the small group of Drexel students, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I lived on a floor with all three universities. 

Although the initial 10-day quarantine was claustrophobic and frustrating, I am incredibly grateful to have had that time for the floor to squeeze together in the common room. It allowed us to all get to know each other before the Drexel students started class and the others started their internship program. 

Even though our weekdays were separate, we spent most of our free time as an inter-college group. And I have met some incredible people from schools up and down the East Coast. 

Because of Drexel’s uncommon quarter system, we are staying in London until the end of August, but the students from other schools returned home this week. It was very sad to say bye to our friends. And it’s been very strange without them. 

There were 11 of us on the floor when we all arrived in London, and we are down to 6. It is unusually quiet. I still leave my door cracked upon for my UF friend Chuck, who would come to sit on the floor in my room. 

When they all left this weekend, it felt like we were supposed to go home too. When Chuck and Wylie went back to their rooms early on Saturday night to pack, I had the instinct to go pack too. So weird to have two extra weeks without them, it feels like a different trip! 

The other Drexel goers are all sad to see them go, but I am happy to have the extra time here. I’ve gotten used to living in posh South Kensington, the incredibly easy public transportation, and the food. 

I miss my home, family, friends and dog horribly, but I don’t want to leave. I told my father this, and he said something that I felt was important to share. He said that wanting to go home and wanting to stay meant that I was happy in both places. 

I am writing this as if I don’t have another two weeks to go, but I’m afraid these two weeks will fly by, because the entire summer has. 

I am incredibly grateful for the experience and the friends I have made here. And we are planning a reunion in the states for the fall, which I cannot wait for. 

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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