Step Reflection-Scientific Roots In Europe Study Abroad

For my step signature project I had the opportunity to study abroad in London and Paris. I participated in the Scientific Roots in Europe Study Abroad. During the semester we participated in a weekly class and learned about the scientific history of Europe and gained historical background on certain advancements we utilize today. We also learned about the culture of Europe. During Spring Break we had the opportunity to travel to London and Paris and visit various museums and historical sites that have significant science contributions.


Before this trip I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy. Leaving the country for the first time, really pushed me out of my American bubble and exposed me to a different culture. I felt this exact same way traveling to London and Paris. The trip was refreshing and gave me an overall greater positivity for life as I got to come in contact with different accents, languages, food, and architecture. I truly created memories that will last me a lifetime.

Overall, I think completing this study abroad made me more daring. Because I knew I was traveling to a different country I did a lot of research in advance and made sure I exposed myself to new things. This is a far different mindset from the one I have when I’m at home. I’m usually a lot less daring and do activities that I’m used to but I feel like this signature project gave me the platform to transform and step out of my comfort zone.


Trying French and British cuisine was by far the biggest culture shock for me. While in London I had the opportunity to attend an Alice and Wonderland Themed afternoon tea. The pastries were super intricate. They gave us macaroons that were shaped like time clocks and lady bug shaped red velvet cake. All of the teas were really good as well. They also had really pretty garden with a waterfall in the center of the restaurant, which made the experience relaxing. Having an opportunity to attend high tea really immersed me in British culture and allowed me to have a unique experience. While in London I also got the chance to try duck at a Chinese restaurant in China Town. In Paris I also had the opportunity to try authentic Moroccan food for the first time.

Another unique experience was in London. As I was walking  down Piccadilly Circus, which is similar to New York’s Times Square, I passed Jamie Oliver’s restaurant. Jamie Oliver is a popular celebrity chef in the United Kingdom, he is similar to a Michael Symon or a Bobby Flay here in the U.S. There was a small crowd of people taking pictures in front of his restaurant. Then we realized that Jamie Oliver himself was sitting in his restaurant eating lunch and doing a taping for his cooking show. We were able to videotape him waving at us. I was not expecting this to happen. It is awesome to see what unique things you can experience out of no where when you choose to explore the streets of an unfamiliar country.

Visiting the museums in both London and Paris were huge historical and cultural experiences. When I visited the Louvre and the Musee de Orsay I had the opportunity to see the Mona Lisa, and the work of Vincent Van Gogh. These are artist and pieces of artwork that we learn about in school from an early age, actually seeing them was breathtaking. In both London and Paris we used the subway systems to get from point A to B. This experience is one that definitely made me more daring. Using a map to navigate foreign countries was a daunting experience. However, I felt so much accomplishment not getting loss and learned so much about the language, accents, and mannerisms of the French and British by sitting right next to them on the Underground or the Metro.


Being pushed out of my American bubble and coming in contact with not only one but two very different cultures, makes me feel more positive about life and overall more well rounded as an individual. Specifically, I work as an Resident Advisor (RA) here at OSU. As RA’s we are always told that we should push our residents out of their comfort zone and encourage them to be open to new experiences. I think the  experiences, stories, and memories that I picked up during this study abroad can be shared with my residents. If they are interested in studying abroad but are maybe scared or unsure, I  hope to give them the encouragement they need to be daring and go on a transformational abroad experience during their college years.

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