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Letters and Lessons From Abroad

Lisa Leonard’s letters from London

As I was going through some old boxes in my parents’ house, I came across letters I had written them in 1987.  I was far away, spending a semester in London, England.   Mom and Dad supported my interest in studying abroad, and I’m so grateful for that.  It was one of the best experiences of my life.

In addition to learning the usual college subjects, with an emphasis on International Broadcasting, I became a student of life.  Being in a foreign land, not knowing anyone, is a great and quick way to get to know one’s self!  At the start of the semester, I stayed close to campus, feeling a bit intimidated by “the big city.”  As the weeks went on, I found a lot of joy and satisfaction by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, visiting new neighborhoods, trying new things.  Another lesson I learned while in London was that a steady diet of spaghetti, fast food burgers, and milk chocolate bars are NOT good for the stomach so now I try to eat smart, especially when travelling.  (Who wants to be sidelined on vacation with a bout of Montezuma’s Revenge?)  When on a walking tour with one of my English professors I learned another valuable lesson:  look UP!   There’s so much beautiful architecture in the world, not to mention ornate street lamps, and stained glass windows.  Perspective on things can change by simply shifting the direction of the gaze.

Here’s a quote from my letter dated January 30th, 1987, “Oh! The other day Ann and I were walking back from Church Street Market and we saw one of the guys from OMD!”

I was so excited to have that celebrity sighting decades ago, so you can imagine what a treat it is for me to play OMD on WOBM (like today during the Ocean County Cafe.)

Did you ever study abroad or do any kind of exchange program?  Where did you go?  What did you learn?   We’d love to hear from  you in the Comments section below.

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