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Returning to the Bubble

by Grace Hatton, staff writer

It’s undeniable, Warren Wilson College is its own little world, a world commonly and affectionately referred to as the Bubble. If you’re like me and have made it through more than a year of the triad experience, then you’ve most likely fallen in love with this little corner of the world and our unique college. However, I, along with other upperclassmen, recently got the chance to venture out of the bubble into the big bad world through the Wilson Study Abroad Office, also known as International Programs. International Programs offers short term study abroad experiences as well as semester-long and year-long options in numerous countries including the UK, Japan, Mexico, China, France, Germany, Thailand and more. The International Programs office also partners with SIT (School of International Training), CIEE and Living Routes to offer students programs to literally every corner of the world.

Study abroad is a wonderful opportunity to spend some time away from Wilson and learn from the world around you. I spent my last semester in London, England studying literature and completing an internship with a London arts magazine. While my time in London was amazing, the point of this article isn’t to go on about me, the point of this article is to serve as an introduction to a new audio segment entitled Returning to the Bubble that the Echo will be hosting through Reverb. Returning to the Bubble will be focusing on students like myself who have just come back from study abroad and look at how our experiences added to our education but also how it feels to be back in the Bubble after being in various corners of the world for months.

My own personal experience of returning to Wilson has been uneasy. Part of me is content to be back at this place full of friends, wonderful work experience, empowering service and a plethora of interesting clubs/activities while the other half is pining for London and living independently in a flat in a large metropolitan city once more. Although it has only been a week since my return to Wilson, I feel as though I don’t quite fit into the Wilson puzzle anymore and that is down to my study abroad experience. It’s hard to go back to the familiar when I’ve experienced so many wild things on the other side of the world.

However not everyone feels the same way; some of my fellow study abroad students have found returning to the bubble a comforting experience. “After coming back to Wilson, I am relieved to be back in a familiar setting with people I know,” says Nicholas Ford, a senior who studied abroad in Spain this summer.

Listen to the Returning to the Bubble audio segment on Reverb

As you can see study abroad is not a cookie cutter experience, and returning to the bubble after being abroad has varying effects on different people. That’s why the Echo is putting together the audio segment on Reverb. We will explore the lasting effects of study abroad, share our adventures away and experiences of returning so that it might give you, whatever your class standing, a better insight into the sometimes overwhelming world of study abroad and how it can work for you.



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