My bag is packed, my pre-trip assignments are complete, and I am headed to Oxford, England in the morning! Wow, what a surreal thought. I have zero expectations and many questions, but that is what I am most excited about; I cannot wait to experience Oxford for the first time, and studying its literature and fine arts is an ideal way to do it. As I have waited out the first half of my summer, staying busy at home in anticipation for the trip, my goal was to stay up-to-date on all things Oxford: weather, politics, and culture. Little did I know that one of the biggest global events would happen in my country of destination mere days before departure! The “Brexit,” the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, sent stock markets in a tailspin and uncertainty reaching across the globe last Friday.
On June 23rd, voters were asked: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” This question sparked much debate over the UK’s economy, culture, independence, and place in the world. The majority vote to exit created a mixed political climate and some protest; Britain’s Prime Minister decided to step down after this exit due to his position in the matter. As a student traveling to study in the UK, I cannot help but become excited at the significance of this time in history; the European Union was created after World War II to create a united and prosperous Europe. I do not think anyone would have predicted this turn of events, especially at this time.
I am so excited to spend my next month immersed in English culture and knowledge. My goals are to approach every new situation with an open mind and to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to me. Oxford, here I come!