Holly is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London
Major: English and Communication
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
Going into college, I knew that I wanted to experience a different culture by living in a different country through study abroad. I was interested in the London program because London is a vast and diverse city full of art, history, and many opportunities. I also liked the idea of being able to work at an internship in a different country. I thought that working in a different country would give me a different experience rather than just studying.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
My internship gave me a great opportunity to meet people who have lived in London their whole lives and people from other countries that have only lived in London for a little while. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives on issues such as US politics, Brexit, and the differences in healthcare between the US and UK. I was also able to get a glimpse at how the National Health Service (NHS) works and compare to the healthcare system in the US.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. I loved living in a different place long enough to call it home. I really liked how I could apply what we were learning in class to my experiences around the city. I also liked learning about the different types of theater and seeing different types of plays that I wouldn't have gone to by myself. I really enjoyed my internship because I got to explore a possible career path and learn about a public health program in London. I got to see how non-profit organizations interact with the NHS and I got to make possible career connections with people in London.
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?
I grew academically, personally, and professionally. Academically, I got to take classes that I wouldn’t normally take and learn new things about the history of London and the history of theater in London. Personally, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by trying new things and became more laid back and flexible about new events. I didn’t travel a lot before going abroad, but now I can jump on a plane and go to a new place without any worries. In fact, I can’t wait until I get to go on a plane and travel to a new place! Professionally, I got to explore a possible career path and meet people with similar interests to me in London.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
If you’re thinking about going, just go! Be open minded and flexible about new opportunities and try everything you can. Everyone knows that it’s expensive but try to put experiences before money if you can. You can always figure out the money when you get back but you can’t always have the same experiences when you get back home. Studying abroad is an incredible experience so try to fit in everything you can!