• Ethan Bellamy '20 and SU study abroad students in London.

The hustle and bustle of the packed St. Pancras International station, as both business executives or mothers with screaming children rushed passed me, was a stark reminder that I was no longer on the small campus of Southwestern University. Confusion quickly followed as I was lost within the thousands of people who pass through the station every hour, but luckily for me, I found a classmate who guided me to our housing.

It became a pattern: throughout the semester, many of us would rely on one another to ease the transition, from borrowing each other’s pots or pans to teaming up for class projects. The savior who rescued me at the Tube station was almost the beginning of our group’s ability to get along with one another.

Shortly after the introduction meetings, we began to form group chats and create plans that involved us traveling around Europe. Students who had never seen one another before soon were booking tickets to witness the sites of Rome or the canals of Venice. The London trip thus developed into a group experience rather than an individual one for all of us Southwestern Pirates. Instead of finding ourselves, we soon found comfort in the ability to see our group and along the way realize just how unique Southwestern has been to our journey in college.

The overarching reality was the appreciation that all of us came together because of a program created by Southwestern.

The overarching reality was the appreciation that all of us came together because of a program created by Southwestern, and we remain forever grateful for the opportunities this wonderful school has provided us. Ice skating, Harry Potter World, or football games together would never be possible without the process of inclusion and togetherness that Southwestern has taught us all throughout the years.

London seemed to be the quintessential birth of all of our time at Southwestern thus far, giving us the ability to adapt to any challenge our British courses provided or any obstacle the London Underground threw at us. London has taught all of us to become a unit of Southwestern Pirates who thrive on the difficulties of coming to England’s biggest city by demanding that we seek help from one another while remembering the teaching of Southwestern, Paideia®, the Honor Code, or even Pirate Training. With these lessons, it became ever so evident that Southwestern prepared us for this starkly different life in London, and for that, we are forever grateful.