I am so excited to share my semester abroad with you all! I wanted to start by explaining my choice with Liverpool Hope University is followed by how COVID has shaped my abroad experience.
I chose Liverpool Hope University because of the arts department. In the field of dance, it can be challenging to find an abroad program in English. I know of a student who studied in France two years ago, but other than that, not many dancers leave Hope College. Hope College has been working hard to change this and find more dance opportunities abroad for students, but it is still a struggle for us all. Therefore, I am very happy that Liverpool Hope University has a dance program embedded in the university’s international options.
COVID-19 has definitely made my pre departure experience difficult as there are so many unknown factors. Even when they are known, they can change very quickly. I feel like I always must have one foot in and one foot out, and not put my full heart into the experience quite yet. I think once I LAND in Manchester, I will feel the full range of excitement that is there, but I am scared to get my hopes up for now; even though we are only a few days out!
I am not worried about going abroad. In fact, I am so ready for the independence. I will not be going with anyone I know, but I think this is better for me as I get to learn more about myself as well as the city with no exterior influences. I live far away from my parents so I feel like I will be alright, but I am prepared for some home-sickness for family as well as adaptation to cultural changes. The director of the dance department and my advisor, Mathew Farmer, studied at Liverpool Hope University as well. We met to talk about the program as well as the flow of life in Liverpool. I am so thankful for his incite on some of the cultural changes between Holland Michigan and Liverpool England. This has been semesters in the coming and I am counting down the hours till I get on the plane!