Study Abroad without Studying Abroad
If you’ve ever spent at least 60 seconds with a college student who has studied abroad, chances are that they told you the story of how (insert country here) changed their life for the better. Reflecting upon my semester in Chicago doing my HOD internship, I’ve realized that I have had almost that same study abroad experience (minus the abroad part, of course). Experiencing a new city gave me the chance to take a step away from Vandy, try out the whole independence thing, and eat some of the best food I’ve ever had. I didn’t even have to learn a new language!**
**Some might say that the Chicago accent is a dialect of its own.
I’ve compiled some pictures and blurbs from my wanderings, to show you just how much one student can see during a semester in a strange city. Enjoy!
Not pictured: 42nd Street play, Peter and the Starcatcher, chocolate cake shakes from Portillo’s, outings to see Divergent and The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gino’s East and Giordano’s deep dish pizza, breakfasts with the grandparents, bizarre all-tap-dancing romantic comedy play, the Magnificent Mile, the weekly tap class I took at American Rhythm Center, and the making of a mad cool music video.
I spent one Sunday afternoon at the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is free! The best thing about going to the zoo by yourself is that you can hang out in the ape habitat for hours on end and no one rushes you. You can also buy yourself mint chocolate chip ice cream just because.
My grandpa and mom insisted that I eventually go to a concert in the Chicago Symphony Center, as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the best symphonies in the country, maybe even the world. The Symphony Center also happened to be located one block away from my Chicago apartment, which was convenient. With a generous student discount, I was able to attend a jazz concert starring Regina Carter and Mavis Staples and watch it from the lofted seats behind the stage.
On one of my last days in Chicago, I decided to take a walk down to Navy Pier and the Museum Campus, home of Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium. I’ve decided that I really love living someplace where walking everywhere is doable and mastering public transportation is a breeze. That’s something I’ll always love about Nashville, too, since everything is close in proximity.
Each semester at Vanderbilt is what you make of it. Since I will not be studying abroad for real during my four years here, I decided to make my semester in Chicago a study abroad of its own. And honestly, any place where the pizza is served in a pie pan is foreign to me.