Since my time here in England is coming to an end, I feel a great deal of pressure to take advantage of my last six weeks. I’ve booked flights and train tickets to several other countries in order to make the most of my study abroad experience, but one thing I really enjoy doing is just staying at my university and spending time with the friends I’ve made here.

I’m so lucky to have such an amazing group friends here in England; they make the days I have nothing planned so fun and entertaining that I don’t feel such a high need to go traveling every weekend, which is really nice. I’m able to enjoy a simple night with a couple beers, some card games, fun music and great company, which is all I need to have a good time.

Thanks to my flatmate, Jessica, and her boyfriend, Jonah, I was able to meet and befriend more British people than I would have if I were on my own; this really helped me learn more about English culture and make this new place feel like a home.

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Having said that, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to travel to other places. Just within the past two weeks, I’ve been to Barcelona, Rome and Edinburgh. When it comes to traveling to other countries I suggest you check both train and air fares, do your research on hostels and their locations, have at least a vague idea of what you want to do and see, and sort how you’re going to get to each place.

For my trip to Barcelona, I went with my friend Holly and a few other people. The second day of our trip was my favorite because our Spanish friend, Alvaro, came with us and showed us around the city. We visited La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and the Arc de Triomf.

We didn’t have a set itinerary for the day, just a small list of things we wanted to see; our day was so fun and easygoing because there wasn’t any pressure to be in a rush. This and the fact that it was so sunny and warm compared to England made me love Barcelona even more. Holly and I even took a few minutes to just stand and soak in the sun.

Although this trip with Holly and Alvaro to Barcelona only lasted a few days, we made the most out of our time and still had so much fun with what we did. We didn’t have to do anything extravagant or intricate in order to have fun in the city. And this fun, easygoing environment is also what I have here in England.

At the end of the day, I don’t think it really matters where I am or what I’m doing while I’m doing my study abroad, what I value most from this experience is the people I meet and connect with. For me, it’s the people around me who make the place I’m in enjoyable and worthwhile.

My friends and our relationships are what I really care about while I’m here, so my main priority is to make the most out of my time here by spending it with the people I love, regardless of where I am.

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Daryn Codi Seeckts is studying public health, psychology and English under the interdisciplinary studies major. She is spending Fall semester at the University of Hertfordshire, England.

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