I have a thousand little stories about my time here but one in particular has shaped my understanding of what it means to be a study-abroad college student. My first bus ride from downtown Baltimore up to the suburb of Towson felt very strange; it was a journey from a 65% African American populated city to a college of 65% white students. I first saw #blacklivesmatter on a street corner at the beginning of November. The cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner alighted national action against America’s systemic, institutionalised racism and my college staged a walk-out protest and march. I was shocked by a following, immediate backlash which, although voiced in virtual space, fractured our tiny campus. Our college President called for a “community gathering” the following evening where hundreds of students, most of whom I still only knew by sight, squashed into a single room. It is difficult to describe what happened, partly because it was very emotional and partly because it felt so very private. It is strange; you are a new, temporary student, thousands of miles away from anything that looks like “home” but have been so warmly welcomed and made to feel much loved. My sense of belonging here feels like the most fragile, beautiful gift. So when my new world was rocked those last few weeks of winter semester, it was more than unsettling. I’ve found that becoming a part of such a small community is a big commitment but every cliché is true, I’ve had the happiest time.