Elizabeth VanDerwerker ’07: Gaining an international perspective Part 2

elizabeth-vanderwerker-07-photo-for-entry-2As the halfway point of my second semester of graduate school in England arrived, I was beginning to feel that despite having a wonderful house that I share with three classmates, my true home had become the university library.

I have been spending endless days and nights there doing group work while also trying to complete individual assignments. One of my roommates, Laura, and I decided that something had to be done about this! Since I arrived in the Netherlands, my biggest regret has been that I have not done as much travelling as I had hoped. I quickly agreed when Laura suggested that we take a day trip.

After flipping though our Lonely Planet guidebooks, we decided to go to Leeds. The next day, Laura and I got to the station early to buy our tickets. After a 2½-hour train ride, we arrived in Leeds. We walked out of the station ready to conquer the city only to discover that neither of us had brought along a map, book or any tourist information. This would panic many people, but we decided to just make the best of it and started walking around with confidence that we would eventually find something we had read about in our books the night before. Luckily, our plan worked, and we spent the afternoon visiting museums, shops and other tourist attractions.

Exhausted after a full day of touring, Laura and I decided to relax and enjoy some tapas at a Spanish restaurant we had passed earlier in the day. While eating, we began talking about our time in the United Kingdom so far. During this conversation, I realized that I really feel at home in England. It was then that I was reminded of my experience three years ago when I spent a summer in London as part of Elon’s internship program. I realized England is a country where I can see myself really starting a life.

When we arrived home later that night, I found myself pushing my books aside to begin searching for career opportunities in the United Kingdom. While I know that it will be difficult to find a job in England, especially given the current job market, I am now certain that I do not want my international experience to end when my course is over.

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