My Summer in the USA
Posted on: 2 March 2020 by Daniel Platt in 2019/20
Daniel shares his fantastic experiences of the UGA summer school
Before participating in the UGA summer programme, I had never had the opportunity to travel outside of the UK. I applied for the programme because I thought it would be a great opportunity to become more independent and experience something completely different. I know in the future I may have opportunities to use my Computer Science degree abroad so I thought this would be an excellent way of building my confidence and gaining some international experience.
One of my main highlights of the trip was flying for the first time. Getting through Manchester airport was a bit stressful but once I was on the plane, I loved every minute. I should have probably used the time to get some sleep but I spent the whole journey looking out of the window. It was amazing being above the clouds and seeing the world from a completely different perspective. The rest of the week followed a similar theme because I learnt so much about the history and culture of America which was really eye-opening.
I loved the fact that we spent a week in Georgia as opposed to some of the big tourist destinations like Florida or California as I feel like we got to see ‘real’ America – from the small rural towns of the south to the huge metropolis of Atlanta. The state of Georgia reflects the US as a whole as the state is divided both politically and culturally. Whilst at UGA, we took part in some really interesting lectures about US politics and race and diversity. These sessions were especially fascinating because the lecturers had first-hand knowledge and experience of working for many years in politics and civil rights. Our politics lecturer had worked on Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and spoke to us about political optics and some of the differences between politics in the UK and the US.
Since coming back from UGA, I definitely feel more confident independent. Having the chance to talk to Americans and learn about important topics such as the Civil Rights Movement was really inspiring and I feel I am now much more empathetic towards people and their personal circumstances. I think it is important to put yourself into new situations such as this as you not only learn about knew cultures but it also helps you develop as a person.