Cady Wills still looks left instead of right when crossing the road. Alex Hansen mixes up the word order of his sentences. Erin Roberts misses the ocean at her doorstep. Alyssa Tayrien is still in the mindset of being abroad, of always being on her toes.
These Trinity juniors and seniors are all back at Trinity after several months of studying abroad. Their readjustment back into the Trinity lifestyle is not entirely smooth sailing, just as their initial transition into their host countries was not. Whether they were in New Zealand, Taiwan or Greece, these Trinity students were able to experience cultures vastly different from their own.
“If you ask anyone who’s been abroad, they would say they’ve changed. And taking who you were over there, that changed person, and putting them back where they used to be is kind of a weird transition,” Wills said, a junior anthropology major.
Wills spent last semester at the University of Otago in New Zealand. When she wasn’t in class, she was exploring the island’s natural wonders and traveling to wherever she could find the closest adventure. Wills was even able to meet up with her sorority sister, Roberts, who was studying abroad in Wellington. Both Wills and Roberts still miss the paradise they called home.
“It’s a hard readjustment because when you’re abroad, you’re always adventuring because everything over there is brand new. Being back here, it’s back to the same,” Wills said.
Roberts, a junior engineering major, is readjusting to differently structured classes.
“Wellington is right on the water so I could just go running or walking along the beach. It was so nice to just be surrounded by nature and beauty,” Roberts said.
Alex Hansen, a junior computer science and Chinese double major, became fluent in Mandarin Chinese through his 16-credit language course. Although that seems like it would take up most time, Hansen still explored the country and learned from natives.
“One time I left my phone on a bus, so when I told the school, they mobilized a unit of moms and called bus stops and ended up driving me to the police station, where the lost and found was. I don’t know if I would have skipped work to take some foreigner to the police station,” Hansen said.
Alyssa Tayrien, a senior communication and classical studies double major, thinks her time in Athens lead to personal developments that will be beneficial for her last semester.
“It was nerve-wracking, walking through a foreign city by myself. By the end of it, I could cover the city without a map. To see that development in myself was cool,” Tayrien said.
These four upperclassmen are happy to be home, but are still getting settled back in.
“I think that when we’re here at home, it’s really easy to just get into a routine of things and accept things how they are, but when you’re abroad, you’re forcing yourself to question your identity. You’re forcing yourself to ask “˜Why am I doing this? What do I want to do? Because I can do almost anything.’ And since that’s something that I can already feel myself missing, that sense of adventure, I just find a way to implement it,” Tayrien said.