Name: Sofia

Age: 19

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia, USA

Explored: Manchester, England

About: University of Manchester, England


"September 2016.

I sat in the taxi beside my mom with four large suitcases. It was the first glimpse of my new home for at least three years: Manchester, England. Brick terrace houses, football (soccer) fields, double-decker buses, driving on the left – it was all overwhelming as I tried to imagine myself living here. I was both terrified and exited for this new adventure.


April 2017.

Manchester is now my home. I’ve become used to separate hot and cold taps and different words (bin, flat, cooker, hob). The amalgamation of experiences I’ve had, from the ‘touristy’ to the everyday, makes me so grateful for this opportunity. From walking around Stuttgart, Germany with my course mates looking for food on a bank holiday (for a study trip) to finding out that minced pies don’t actually contain minced meat and going out for a pint after finishing a group project. Or waking up at 3:30 am to go to London for the day when my friend came. I’ve also been able to share Thanksgiving with people in my accommodation and walked the extensive Christmas Markets.

Over the past months, I’ve gotten to learn a lot about myself as I’ve met new people and experienced things I never would have at home. I believe that it’s important to travel and try new things whether near your hometown or far away. And sometimes the most memorable bits seem like insignificant experiences compared to others."



Lindsey Shavers