Michelle is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because I have lived in Minnesota, and now attended college here my whole life. It was an opportunity I could not pass up. London stood out to me because of the option to complete an international internship. I figured I could use that as a resume builder. As well as the fact that England is an English speaking country made a big impact on my decision as well.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Transportation in Europe is completely different from the United States. In London specifically they have so many public options to get around the large city. As well as walking is such a common way to get around. I found myself really enjoying not driving. In the United states its a strange phenomenon when a person at the age of 16 doesn't get their license and own car, but in London everyone from the rich to the poor uses the Tube and the city buses. It was just a completely different way to get around than I was use to.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I will never forget my study abroad experience. I headed to London only knowing a few people, and by the end of it I truly feel like I have gained so many good friends. Its a relationship that you just don't have with anyone else. My group shared amazing memories from trying to find your way around the city, to realizing you really cant buy the same amount of groceries at the store like you do at home to many more. I found that during my time abroad I really was able to pin point things I take for granted at home, and other things I can truly live without. Studying abroad in London was the best decision I have made.
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?
The London study abroad program for me covered the rest of my general requirements. Mainly the ones I was dreading taking, and the advantage to that was they were half the amount of time! Another great benefit is that you get to complete an internship and build relationships and network with people from all over the world (because London is so diverse). By having a semester away from home you get to discover some great things about yourself.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
You will regret it if you do not. I almost did not study abroad because I thought it would take me off track of my path to graduation. I would also say take lots of pictures, but do not spend all your time on social media. Your time goes fast so make the most of it. Also, classes abroad are not as easy as everyone says they are so don't forget that you are there to study!