After being in London and all over Europe for the past four months, I have finally returned to the US. The first thing realized while walking through O’Hare was that I didn’t notice the lack of British accent. After a while in London, the British accent didn’t stick out to me, and now that I’m home the American accent does not stick out. In general that is how my feelings of coming home have been: home is home and that will never seem weird to me. I have had no effects of “reverse culture shock”, and that may be because I studied in an English speaking country. The cultures are vastly different, but it’s hard to think of home as a newly foreign place based on only four months in a different country.
There is one great thing about being home: everything is magically almost half as expensive. Any product in the UK is numerically as expensive, if not more expensive, as in the US, but now there is no more worrying about that awful exchange rate (1 USD = 0.6 GBP). A couple of the guys I met at Imperial College in London said that when they came to the States they were buying anything they could get their hands on. Everything in the US seemed dirt cheep to them while everything in the UK seemed unbelievably expensive to me.
By far the best part about being home is being around friends and family again. Being so far away from my parents and friends is a little tough. I live close to Madison so this experience was the first time I have ever been a significant distance away from my family. It is equally tough to be away from Madison for an entire semester. I wouldn’t trade going to London, but it was sometimes hard seeing friends’ pictures on Facebook and feeling like I missed out made me a little jealous.
All in all, being in London was a great experience. I feel like I know London as well as Milwaukee or Madison. It seems like it’s a home away from home which is surprising based on the size and population of London. It truly was an experience I will never forget. It was a once in a lifetime joy ride because I can’t imagine I will ever have another four month stint in Europe. But then again, who knows?