When I first became an official student at OSU, one of my first interests was studying abroad. At a visit in the spring before my freshman year, I talked with a woman who was a teacher of a study abroad class that travelled over spring break. I looked up all of the information and knew that this was a great opportunity for a study abroad as a freshman. I applied as soon as the application became available and was lucky enough to get accepted. In the spring, the class was taught by two amazing professors and special guest speakers, to prepare us for our travels. I learned various scientific ideas and the history of biological roots in Europe has made an impact. We mainly focused on paradigm shifts, which is the fundamental changes in beliefs as new knowledge is discovered. When spring break came around, it was time to travel to London and Paris.
I had been to London before, but this time I got to travel to different places and even explore on my own some. My favorite place in London was the Old Operating Theatre Museum, which was once an operating room in the space above a church, where medical professionals would come to learn surgical procedures. Along with the operating “theatre” and all of the various medical tools, I became interested in the advancement of technology in healthcare, which I used for my final project in the class. One of the other standout things in London was watching Matilda: The Musical, which I have always wanted to see.
After a few days in London, we travel to Paris via the Eurostar fast train. Arriving in Paris was a magical, and overwhelming time. I knew a little French, but I was still nervous to be in a country where I wasn’t able to completely communicate. I quickly overcame this fear and enjoyed my time in Paris. I visited all of the historical and well known places, like the Louvre (which was so much larger than I expected, unlike the Mona Lisa), the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. I did a lot of roaming on my own, where I did my best to communicate and learn more French. On the final day of the trip, I ventured a little farther to see a van Gough museum. It was located in an area that was not as touristy, which meant I needed to communicate in French. I got to the museum, to find that tickets were sold out. I was able to talk and explain where I was from and that I was visiting with a college. Since I was by myself, they let me in, and I am so lucky for this. I was able to see an exhibition of van Gough’s art that was painted across the walls in video form, as if I was watching him create his masterpieces. I sat there for a couple hours, completely mesmerized, and ventured back to my hotel while I enjoyed my last night in the city.
This trip was by far the best part of my freshman year at Ohio State. I was lucky enough to be able to travel, make new friends (mainly upperclassman), and learn more about scientific roots in Europe. I hope to travel again, and enjoy more study abroad opportunities that my school offers.