Landscape architecture student shares his 2020 study abroad experience

Eunho Herron says: "Study aboard is such an essential experience for landscape architecture majors because it directly impacts the way we think and design. I cannot insist on how valuable and amazing the experience was. "

A street in Rye, England, U.K.
Rye, England, with The Mermaid Inn’s banner shown on left.

Study abroad has always been something distant to me. I had heard many stories of it before I started my education at Michigan State University.

When I decided to major in Landscape Architecture, the opportunity arose for me once and for all. Study aboard is such an essential experience for landscape architecture majors because it directly impacts the way we think and design. I cannot insist on how valuable and amazing the experience was.

Every day was an adventure where I would wake up and step outside into unfamiliar scenery. There was always something different and exciting to explore. The one place that I still vividly remember, was Rye, England, which we accessed via the English tube system, something that we do not have in Michigan.

Rye looked like a town that I would see in fairy tales or in the “Pirates of Caribbean” movies with wooden flooring, stone roads, steep hills and even fortresses. The city’s rich history dates back to Medieval time, where the entire village was used as a port and for pirates.

Most of the buildings are smaller than modern buildings, and this was why I hit my head multiple times during the day.

Besides the medieval look of the town, each building had its own story, with the most famous building being the Mermaid Inn – the haunted inn of Rye. The inn is renowned for many spooky stories that drew visitors from around the globe.

When I visited, the bartender greeted me with some of the haunted scenes and personally showed me the wine cellar. This was one of the coolest and most cherished memory I had during the study aboard experience. I am eager to revisit this town later in my life once again.

Even though more adventures and exciting experiences were waiting for us, our study abroad experience was cut short earlier than it was intended due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

But, what I can say about my experience is that it was eye-opening and memorable. Some of the places and designs will stay in our heads and hearts for a long time; the experience changed a lot of perspectives.

I hope that the pandemic ends quickly, and I wait for the future when I can revisit some of the places and explore those we missed.

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