When I came to Carleton I never thought I would have the opportunity to go abroad with a program that so closely fits my interests. As a computer science major pursuing a history minor, I never thought a program would exist that could combine these two subjects and so I feel extremely lucky to have been able to learn abroad with this trip. When I first signed up I was most excited for the museums. I couldn’t wait to see the planes, bunkers, and huge computers of the second world war, but something that caught me off guard was the architecture of the UK. Growing up in Los Angeles I never realized what an impact history could have on the feeling of a city. It was mind blowing to be able to recognize the famous statues and buildings that I had seen in classes back in Minnesota. London was especially fun, I spent hours just walking around Trafalgar Square and along the River Thames.
Just when I thought I was getting used to England, we traveled down to Normandy. While living next to historic buildings was amazing, I found the graveyards to be the most intriguing part of our time in Normandy. I took pictures of dozens of graves in the Bayeux war cemetery, fascinated by the fact that there were Soviet, Polish, Canadian, and even German soldiers buried in an English cemetery in France.
When I returned to France for midterm break I expected to have a similar experience, but Paris was so full of museums and beautiful buildings that I couldn’t have even dreamed to get through all of them in a few short days. I made sure to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower so I could get a good view of the whole city, and it was amazing!
Although I had traveled before this trip, living in places as historic as Cambridge, London and Paris felt right in a way that I can’t hope to explain. I hope to be able to come back someday soon!