Over the past month (June 5 –July 5), I have studied macroeconomics under Professor Peter Mikek at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England. This month has truly been the experience of a lifetime! The opportunity afforded to me by the Stephenson Fund and Professor Mikek has fulfilled my lifelong dream of exploring Europe. During my month in England, I participated in rigorous studies analyzing the economic impacts of the European Union (EU) and Brexit. Alongside this, I traveled with many of my fellow Wabash and fraternity brothers on the weekends. We explored London (UK), Edenborough (Scotland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Santorini (Greece). I found the many new cultures and cities amazingly educational in my personal development.
While traveling to the various cities, I ate many new foods and experienced vastly different cultures and languages. One of the most shocking experiences happened when I arrived in Greece. Finding my way to a taxi from the airport was difficult due to the language barrier and my phone’s lacking service. When I finally found a cab, I was very intimidated by how the people drove. Greece seemed to lack any noticeable street laws or regulations. It was a free for all! My driver yelled at people as they cut us off. Not to be outdone, we were also the source of much road rage because my driver would cut others off. The worry and intimidation quickly turned to excitement because of the new experience. I genuinely believe small experiences like the one listed above hold immense educational value. I now continually find myself more comfortable in situations I otherwise would be uncomfortable.
Of course, I also learned much from my in-classroom experience. Professor Mikek taught an excellent course that explored the intricacies of macroeconomics concerning the UK and EU. This information has real-world applications that significantly affect Europe, the United States, and the international economies.
Once again, I would like to thank the Stephenson family’s generosity in funding this extraordinary experience. Without these funds, I would never have been able to fulfill my dream of exploring Europe. I am also grateful to Professor Mikek for mentoring me throughout my travels and leading a class that has given me invaluable information that I will cherish throughout my life. Other thanks go out to Anthony Mendez and Cassie Hagan for putting extreme dedication into the CIBE, which have contributed significantly to this experience.