In 2015, I decided to apply for a master’s program in the UK after not being able to get a second bachelors. I know! Why would I want a second bachelors. Well I wanted to study more on politics. Well, after that did not work out, I applied to several school in north England and it worked. I got into all 7 of them! My dream of living abroad again was going to be coming true. On 21st September 2016, I got on a plane with 1 over-sized suitcase, a backpack and a carry-on, and moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. I was going to live in another country for a full year. This is all about how living abroad changed my life.
The 2016-2017 academic year was one to remember. Just before I moved to the UK, I got baptized into Christ exactly one month prior to moving. That decision changed how my life in England was going to work out. The closest church to Newcastle was a 6 hour bus drive to Birmingham, a newly planted church. This made my year abroad challenging but rewarding as I learned much about my academic skills and my perseverance.
For one full year, I traveled from Newcastle to Birmingham every weekend. That on top of my school work, readings, seminars, friendships, and trying to evangelize Birmingham, I became overwhelmed. However, I was blessed to have a church family that supported me and led me in the right way. God allowed for me to have the experience of travelling every weekend in order to grow as a person, an academic, and a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Academics and Spiritual Life
Academically, I believe, I did very well. Could I have done better, absolutely. Being spiritually young, and academically asleep. I took 3 years between graduating from my Bachelors and doing my Masters. It took a little while for me to get myself together and get on the rhythm of reading three or more books a week as well as having to read tons of articles just to get two good sources for my paper. At the end, I think I did good. Having graduated from my masters with merit and go merit on my dissertation (in which I got a 67 [a high grade in the UK ]).
I realized that my calling was working at universities once I finished my masters. I dream of becoming a Dean of the History department at a university, and to achieve that goal, I will be completing a second Masters. This time the Masters is on Educational Leadership focusing on higher education. God has allowed for me to be accepted into the local university in my current town in order to fulfill that dream. While I wanted to first do a PhD in History, I believe it is best for me to do my second Masters first due to financial and family reasons.
Living abroad for a year taught me that I can do all things through God who strengthens me as Philippians 4:13 states in the Bible. God also allowed for me to discover Europe while I studies abroad. I got to visit many countries like Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and Switzerland. In each one of these countries, I learned a little bit more about myself and what I wanted for my future. I learned the most in Spain because it showed me where my future lies. I learned that Spain is where I needed to live at some point in my life. God willing, I will be able to make my dream come true in a couple of years after I finish my degree.
God has planted a seed in me to go to Spain to become a missionary, and to spread God’s word to a country becoming more alienated from Christ everyday, as many other European countries are doing. See how living abroad changed my life? Living abroad was the best decision of my life!
So, What Does This Mean?
I wrote all of this to tell you: GO LIVE ABROAD! Get to know things outside your comfort zone. Learn a new language, live a different life than then one you are costumed too.