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Chloe Knowles

BA (Hons) Religion, Culture & Society

My time studying in America was one of the most interesting experiences I've ever had. I spent around 10 months studying there, and a final month in Florida on an extremely long holiday. I studied in the University of Central Missouri (close to the middle, or in America's 'Bible Belt')

Most of the interesting experiences I had while in America were examining the differences between English lifestyle and American lifestyle. For example, I had to share a kitchen in my American dorm with 200 people, which obviously is a stark difference to sharing a kitchen with six people in an English university!

I study Religion, Culture and Society, and continued to study that in America. Another stark difference was in England, there's a heavy emphasis on multiculturalism and learning about all different world religions. In America one of the strangest religion classes I had was 'Elvis; The Memphis Messiah' (yes, quote by quote my lesson was studying if Elvis himself was the second coming of Jesus).

As an international student, for the first two weeks you are lumped in with all the other international students (before the Americans arrived on campus), and this also helped open my eyes on a whole range of cultures and religions. My group of friends mostly consisted of people from the Middle East, who took delight in teaching me Arabic swear words! Before being an international student I could barely handle eating a samosa without begging for milk to calm my tongue, but all my friends I met in America - from India and Korea trained me to be able to stomach the spiciest of foods.

To this day I have invitations ranging from France to Japan to my friends’ houses. Whenever I have a mini-breakdown from staying up late in the library, I know I can WhatsApp my friends in Mexico, because they're just waking up. I'm so lucky to have had this amazing life-changing opportunity, I sometimes get very upset that my friends are so far away, but I always think of this quote:

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” - Miriam Adeney