A reflection on my past two months in Philly

It is the final week of Winter Term. This is going to be my last blog entry, and I feel like it is a good time to do some review and reflection on my two and a half months in Drexel.

As a medical student, I did not have the chance to learn things outside of my field back in Hong Kong. Luckily, my home institution allowed me to take free electives during my time at Drexel. ‘Introduction to Criminal Justice’ is my favorite class that I have registered for this term. Over the past ten weeks, I learned a great deal about how America responds to and controls crime, through the lenses of police, courts, and corrections. I was especially interested in learning about the factors that contribute to racial disparity in the US criminal justice system. To say the least, I am grateful for the opportunity to pick up knowledge that I was not able to at school back in Hong Kong, allowing me to have a deeper understanding and broader perspective on social issues that I am interested in. (Instead of learning them through non-credible sources like the media, which are often very biased!)

I also did a lot of sightseeing over the past two months. There are plenty of museums and historical attractions in the city, and it was an excellent chance for me to learn more about American history. The food in Philly was delicious and surprisingly diverse. Whenever I felt homesick, I could just go to Chinatown and have a bowl of spicy noodles (they were quite authentic too!). Not to mention the cheesesteaks, burgers, and the huge array of addictive snacks. They were the reason why I, a foodie, need to hit the gym a couple times a week.

However, what made my winter term unforgettable was the friends that I made in Drexel. They were the ones that introduced me to different aspects of American culture: teaching me how to watch American football, tailgating in the stadium, watching Drexel basketball games and the 76ers, going axe throwing and school prom, and more. My most remarkable moments were always with them: celebrating in City Hall when the Eagles got into the Superbowl, nights of bar hopping and partying, and taking trips to different cities just to name a few. I will miss them deeply when I go back to Hong Kong.

Studying abroad is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Besides cultural exchange, it is also a good chance for personal growth. I learned how to better manage myself emotionally, socially, and financially during my time here. So if anyone is hesitating about studying abroad, I would 100% say go for it! It will definitely be an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.