Greisner Spends Impactful Semester in England

| Student Life


This past semester I was given the opportunity to study abroad in Reading, England, at Reading University. I first heard about the study abroad program in the fall of 2023, and the students who had previously experienced that made it sound like a great opportunity. I knew I had to apply. The application process was pretty straightforward and Trevecca’s Global Engagement Center walked me through each step of the application process via International Studies Abroad (ISA), an organization that connects students to different college experiences throughout the world. Once I was accepted, they continued to support me as I navigated the other forms and requirements.

Before I arrived for the semester, ISA kept me updated regarding what it would look like as soon as I stepped off the plane and how the semester would work. Moving in was very similar to welcome week here at Trevecca; I met new friends right away and spent a lot of time on campus and in the beautiful town of Reading. 

Throughout my time abroad, I was able to do a lot of traveling with other people in ISA. I visited other areas of England including Brighton, Bath and London. I got to attend soccer matches and London's Winter Wonderland, which is basically a big carnival that is held in December. 

Traveling around England was simple, as the transportation system is extremely well organized. I could easily find my way off-campus to areas such as Oxford and Windsor without any problems. I also had time to explore Europe on my own, traveling to France, Germany, Greece and Ireland. 

Reading University offers some great psychology courses that I took while I was there, and I was able to get to know the professors very well. The classes consisted of course reading throughout the semester and then an exam and/or paper at the end, which kept me busy but still gave me plenty of free time to experience and enjoy the country. 

The people I met abroad were amazing! I became great friends with many of them by the end of semester and continue to keep in touch with them today. Some of my friends were locals enrolled in Reading and loved to show me around the town. I also became good friends with my suitemates, who were also studying abroad. I learned about their hometowns and home universities. Finally, through our joint excursions, I became friends with the other students studying abroad at other universities throughout England. 

Overall, the experience was incredible! I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I love traveling and this opportunity gave me a chance to do that. However, my favorite part was meeting so many people and making new friends from all over the world, and getting to know them so well. 

At first, the culture shock was challenging. But, for me, this was pretty much limited to new phrases and terms (and which way to look for traffic before crossing the road). After a week or so, I felt very comfortable. I now have a better understanding of how diverse the world can be but also how much we have in common with others. Reading was so welcoming to me, and quickly became a home away from home. This experience really helped show me how trusting the Lord and being willing to try new things can guide me to incredible places I never would have imagined.