A Semester of Immersion

By: Amy Zahray '14

Studying abroad in England provided me with the chance to travel around Europe. Before beginning my semester at the University of Southampton, I travelled for two weeks in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. I began in Hamburg, Germany, where I saw the second largest shipyard in Europe and sampled German food. From there I took a train to Cologne and climbed to the top of the huge, gothic Cologne Cathedral. Even though it was charred from bombing during World War II, the cathedral is still spectacularly beautiful. Next, I went to Amsterdam and Delft in the Netherlands, where I met up with Webb alumna Katie Whalen, who is studying at the University of Delft. I ended this trip in Brussels, Belgium, where I discovered the beautiful buildings and delicious chocolate of that famous city.

The three-week Christmas break was another great opportunity to travel. Before Christmas I explored the city of Seville in southern Spain. The warm weather and orange trees along every street made the city feel almost tropical. From Seville I flew to Barcelona, where I stayed right next to the beach, on the Mediterranean Sea. There I saw La Sagrada Familia Basilica, a unique and spectacular structure designed by the famous architect Gaudi. After a quick trip home for a week during Christmas, I flew back to Europe and landed in Venice, a city full of gondolas and canals. From there I went to Florence, where I met up with a friend I had made at the University of Southampton, and saw the giant Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, a cathedral made entirely of marble, with the famous dome designed and built by Brunelleschi. While in Italy, I also got to see the leaning tower of Pisa as well as the Coliseum and forums in Rome. Before heading back to Southampton to take my exams, I went to Naples, where I explored the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.