Olivia Kalkman

Olivia is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London
Major: Communication

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

I chose to study abroad because I wanted to experience a new culture. I wanted to live and study in a new environment, have the opportunities to travel, and to learn more about myself in the process.

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

Every year in London they celebrate Remembrance Day in honor of the veterans in the UK. There is a ceremony in the Westminster area of London. The Royal Family helps with the ceremony and it packed with people paying their respect. Everyone wore red paper poppies, and at 11:00 in the morning during the ceremony, the whole city falls silent for two minutes. We were underneath Big Ben with thousands of people, standing in silence. It was an amazing moment.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

I fell in love with London. I learned how to be a lot more independent and how to travel. After traveling around in Europe I feel like I can handle anything that comes my way! I also learned a lot about British culture and how Americans are viewed abroad. It was a wonderful experience, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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 have learned a great deal about myself and my skills, as well as how to work in the British workplace. The American workplace is extremely efficient, and I gained a new appreciation for that. I have learned how to be more flexible and how to motivate myself better, particularly in the workplace. I have also learned how to navigate any situation and place better. I am much more confident in myself and my talents.

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

Save money, work hard, and get ready for the best experience of your life!


Do you have questions about studying abroad in London? Email Olivia at ockalkman@csbsju.edu