While I wouldn't change anything about my study abroad, there are obvious parts of my experience where I could have been more frugal, whether it was groceries or eating out or even travel expenses. But even the splurges were balanced out by penny-pinching, like taking a 12 hour coach ride from Canterbury to Amsterdam or squeezing into a 12 person dorm room that felt more like a prison than a hostel in London. In retrospect anything can be done better, but poor decisions and mistakes are bound to happen. It is what it is and you get what you get.
I could say that something like Glastonbury was an unnecessary expense, and before I went I did feel guilty about spending the money. Yet, the experience of going to one of the most well known British music festivals was well worth the money. Not just because of the amazing time I had, but because it was genuinely one of the most British things I did while in England. I saw a lot of UK bands, spent the entire weekend with a fun bunch of Brits, and even experienced the inevitable combo of rain and sun and mud. Like the perfect cup of English Breakfast tea, I was steeped in British culture.
Study Abroad was also educationally important, as I was given the chance to experience a different method of teaching. I took a Literature and a Creative Writing class, both of which operated in a manner I was unaccustomed to, but quickly adapted to and enjoyed. There is a considerable amount of independence involved in the Literature classes. Rather than spend weeks discussing one book, as was my experience in undergrad American universities, the UK system went through about a novel a week plus essays to emphasize critical points. It was up to the students to pick and choose the topics of interest and to conduct more in depth research to bring their own input to class.
All the travel, all the late nights with cheap wine, every pound I spent, I don't regret. I met some wonderfully unique and interesting people and made lifelong friends. It was all worth it and I would go broke all over again if the opportunity arose. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone without hesitation.
Your Broad (No Longer) Abroad,