Interview with Kelly Grebeck

Tell me a little about yourself, like your, majors, hometown etc.
I’m an English and Publishing & Editing double major from Swoyersville, PA. In three words or so it can be summed up by; small town, coal, and bars. I’m involved in Lit Club, Transformations, Flagship, 522 Review, and I work for the English Department as an assistant.

What was the food like abroad? Anything new and exciting/that you miss?
I cooked for myself so I ate a lot of pasta and frozen meals. A weird thing I don’t miss is that they have beans and a warmed tomato for breakfast. England’s not really known for food and I couldn’t afford the cute cafes. There were a lot of adorable little pubs that I loved. Cooking for myself was good practice for living in 18th street and it was really fun because I shared a kitchen with 10 other people. The kitchen was our hangout spot—it was where everyone gathered.

Favorite memory of friends?
Shortly before we all left, we came together to cook a really nice Christmas meal where we were all together and not crazy busy with class work.

Other cultures of people you met?
My hall was odd how it worked out—two Americans, a German, rest were English with different heritages like Australian and Brazilian, one whose family was from Ireland. I thought it was really cool. A lot of people thought I was Canadian for some reason. I liked the conglomerations of different cultures in the hall.

How were you the mom?
I was just teaching them how to do simple things like cooking rice or telling if their chicken was expired. I was a go-to for all the questions and helped them feeling homesick because it was the first time for most of them. Since I’d already been away for 2 years, it was easier for me and they were surprised I wasn’t as home sick. They came to me with what they needed and I would just do my best to help.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Everything, I have to choose. Rome in general I love Rome. But then there’s the Dublin story. We were taken a ferry and a bunch of trains. The ferry got cancelled due to weather. We were on the waitlist for another ferry and we just made it. But all of our train tickets were then useless because we’d be getting to wales later than we were supposed to so we had to find a new way to Brighton. We ended up in Birmingham trying to find the airport—not the safest city—having no idea where we were going. We ran into a group of French dancers also trying to get to the airport who didn’t speak any English and we spoke little French. Communicating was an adventure. We ended up getting to the airport so we could get a bus to London. From London we took another bus to Brighton. It was an adventure.

Hardest/best part about coming home?
The hardest part was leaving England just in general the people and university had definitely become a home to me even though it’s scary big. It was sad leaving the culture and the friends and the ability to travel. The best part was getting to share my stories with people from home.

Advice for those about to study abroad/traveling in general?
Take every opportunity you can. I wasn’t going to do one trip to Bath and Stonehenge but I did and had a blast. If you can don’t worry too much about money, you’re there to experience the place and people and culture.

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