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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Your accents are wicked!*

    Summer. A time for lazy days at the beach, endless barbeques, and house parties that never stop. While a majority of Stony Brook was outside, cleansing themselves of all things academic, a rather remarkable percentage of the student body decided to take their summer break in a different direction: studying abroad. ‘Studying Abroad?!’ you say, aghast. Who studies in the summer? But alas, I am one of the guilty few that’ undertook this interesting experience. I, along with 12 other aimlessly wandering Brookers, packed our suitcases once again-this time, for the motherland, England. And after 6 weeks of kebab-eating, British speaking deliriousness, I can truthfully sit down and type this on my computer-it was amazing. Our study abroad found ourselves at the center of education, at Oxford University. Not only were we taught by an admirable member of the Stony Brook staff, Dr. Femi Vaughn, but we also experienced first-hand Oxford tutors (both Irish, and both quite charismatic. Plus, we could actually understand what they were saying. You know what I mean.). It was amazing to learn about the history, and actually see where it happened. We were able to see where George Orwell lived while reading about his social politics.

    Yes, the program was expensive, and yes, it is called a study abroad, but the information was never forced on us; and there was plenty of downtime to realize what England was really about. 12 Pubs, 3 lounges, 5 restaurants, 2 sandwich shops, and one 2-hour train ride to Stonehenge only to realize we can’t take the bus up (the last ride was 1 hour ago), we were able to claim England as home. We are now completely jaded by English accents, know better than to ask anyone what is exactly in their traditional food, have an insane addiction for high tea and cookies, and will do anything for cheap drinks and ice cream (the pound to dollar ratio is 1:2-imagine that with a college student’s budget).

    I’m not going to bore you with my trip; I have the right suspicion to think that only those involved will understand the extent of enjoyment I had, but I will implore you with my humble advice. My advice is this- grab any opportunity to explore another place. We have a whole world right here. Just 2 hours away is the city. And a ferry ride and bus take you to Boston. We’re not really isolated in Long Island. And once you get there, explore. Go to the museums, yes, but do the random things. If you don’t do them now, I don’t know when you ever will, because college is all about grabbing your opportunities. So unless you can cough up a few grand within the next year to take 12 credits at Oxford (which all of us seemingly did, and then proceeded to spend more money on food and drink than any other possible entrance fee in England), take the time to stand in line at the SAC for a subsidized LIRR ticket, and then spend an entire day in the city, roaming anywhere from Tribeca to Brooklyn. Better yet, get an amazing friend to road trip with you to Boston and experience the Oxford of our land-Harvard.

    * A direct quote from a British schoolgirl (and her friends) who heard us talk; why oh why would she think that? Oh well, no complaints here.

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