Jocelyn Norman is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One of the most amazing experiences that I encountered was going to Istanbul, Turkey. This is a muslim majority country and up until then I had never seen a mosque before. Everything was vastly different from anything I was use to and it was a major culture shock. However, I loved every minute of it, from the massive mosques, food, people, markets, and night life. Istanbul was so beautiful and one night we sat on the roof of our hotel, overlooking the Bule Mosque and the Hagia Sophia and watched the sunset over the city. That is an experience I will never forget.
Why did you choose the program in which you participated?
I have always been a big traveler but studying abroad meant that I would be able to immerse myself in culture, build lasting relationships, and experience once in a lifetime opportunities. I believe that it is incredibly important to be open to other cultures and living in an unusual place for four months is one of the best ways to do that. I chose the London, England program because it is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with over three hundred languages spoken. It provided me with immense amounts of history like Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Parliament. The London program also offered an internship which in it of itself is an amazing opportunity.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Study abroad is a chance for you to step out of your comfort zone and come away with a massive amount of once in a lifetime opportunities. You have the ability to do so many amazing things with other Johnnies and Bennies who can share those moments with you. Life is a series of moments all put together, don't you want the ability to look back and say "Yupp, totally worth it!"?
How has the trip affected you? How are you different for having completed the experience?
The trip has made me more independent, less ignorant about what is occurring around me, and more open to new opportunities. I feel that I have grown immensely, I more mature and encompass a greater understanding of who I am as a person. Study abroad, I believe, has helped me figure out what I want out of my life and how I am going to achieve the goals that I have set for myself.
What advice do you have for future Study Abroad Students?
Don't let any experience pass by you. Immerse yourself as much as you can and never take anything for granted. Build relationships with the people you are going with because they will be the ones to talk to if you have doubts or just need someone to listen to because they, most likely, are going through the same mix of emotions that you are. My last and most important piece of advice would be to have fun and live it up!
Do you have questions about studying abroad in London? Email Jocelyn at email@example.com