Tara Paulsen

Tara is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London

Major: Accounting

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Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

London is an amazing and diverse city full of opportunities and history. I was attracted to the program because I wanted to live in a big city. There is always something to do and new places to explore, and there are public transportation systems that allow you to do it all!

A big deciding factor for me to do the London program, aside from being attracted to city life, was the internship. Interning internationally is a priceless experience that will open doors for you no matter what field you are in. Studying abroad in London is easily the best decision I have ever made!

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

London is a melting pot for all sorts of different cultures. A cultural component of the city that always shocked me was how different certain areas were from others. Each borough (neighborhood area) had its own unique vibrancy and culture. It almost seemed like I was in a different city with each new area that I visited.

Another very cultural experience was my internship. It was a place that I could truly interact with and get to know people who live in London. Within my team of eight employees, six of us were not originally from the UK. This is a perfect example of how culturally diverse London really is.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My overall experience in London was amazing and I will always cherish my semester there. Having the freedom to travel and truly live on my own was liberating. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

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?

Having an internship definitely advanced me professionally because I gained valuable job experience in addition to confidence in my skills. Being abroad also allowed me to take a small step away from classes within my major. I really got to focus on core curriculum classes since they weren't overshadowed by major classes which impacted me both academically and personally. Although it is cliche, going abroad helped me evolve, mature, and grow as an individual. 

What advice can you offer for CSB|SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

Stop just considering going abroad and just do it! Spending a semester in a different country is a once in a lifetime experience and you will never regret your decision to go.