Margeaux is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I had never gone out of the country before study abroad, and knew that this experience was something I wanted to do while in college. The idea of living in another country and being a part of another culture was exciting to me. I wanted to increase my self-reliance and push myself to do something out of my comfort zone. I chose London because I had always wanted to go there since I was young. I also appreciated the fact that it is so global and diverse. I wanted to be in a central place that allowed me to take opportunities to do and see new things the whole time I was abroad. London is a large city and is always bustling with activity so there is never a dull moment and that was what I was looking for. Another appealing part of the London program is that you can have an internship while you are there, which is another reason I decided to go there.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
A specific cultural experience that made a lasting impression was my time I spent at my internship. This was one of the best experiences because I worked in a small office where I got to learn so much about the way the British work and compare it to the American ways. I also formed close relationships with my co-workers and was included in many fun activities that were planned outside of work. I learned a lot about culture and the British life while studying abroad in London, but my experience as an intern proved to show me more than any other part because of the hands on experience and being thrown into an actual work environment there.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My overall study abroad experience is very hard to describe and put into words. Any word that could be used would not even come close to how amazing each and every day was in London. From spending time with other CSBSJU students, to meeting and interacting with locals, the experiences with the people alone were enough to make it memorable. On top of that, exploring the city and going to travel to other places in Europe were life changing and cannot be topped. London is one of my favorite places and because of my experience there I happily call it a second home.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Based on my experiences abroad some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad are that one will increase their independence, confidence, and cultural awareness. After going abroad no matter what kind of person someone is, they will change and be different due to their experiences. It is the greatest thing one can do because the program is set up very well through CSBSJU and they work well to accommodate everyone. Spending a semester abroad means taking classes and getting credits, but also having the experience of a lifetime in a different country. Personally, I feel that study abroad made me more of a well rounded individual. I have done something I always wanted to do, and I have changed for the better. Academically, I learned a lot about the English culture and how life in another place works. Professionally, my internship has shown me how to be adaptable and I have learned so much about global relations. This is going to be increasingly important in the future and studying abroad makes this evident.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
My advice for those who are considering or planning to study abroad is that it is the most incredible thing so just do it! It is stressful choosing the place you want to go and getting ready for it, but it all works out in the end so don't get too worked up about it. There are plenty of people to help along the way, so take advantage of the people in the Education Abroad Office as well as those who have previously studied abroad. Ask questions so that you can choose the best program for you. Once it comes to actually being abroad, save your money as much as you can. In the end, you spend quite a lot while you are gone although there are ways to keep it as cheap as possible. Being in a different country can be hard at first, but do not waste time. Make sure you are going out and experiencing all there is to see and do in the place that you go to. When an opportunity comes up and you are wondering whether to do it or not, remember you are only abroad once (for most people) so you might as well go for it all while you can!
Do you have questions about studying abroad in London? Email Margeaux at firstname.lastname@example.org