Alexis Schmid '21
Program: London Fall/Spring Semester
Minor: Philosophy, Gender Studies
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I felt that London was a great way to get my feet wet and live in a place that bridges influence from all over Europe, the Middle East and is still very similar to the US. It really intrigued me to be able to have the opportunity to work abroad and experience how different work culture is compared to here in the US. I also was very interested in the history of the British Empire so London was a perfect fit for me.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
We did a Caribbean Migrant tour of Notting Hill, which is now best known for being one of the most expensive areas in London. Our tour guide ended up being super knowledgeable and helpful and aiding us in our understanding the gentrification of these neighborhoods. this is just one of the many experiences that help changed by perspective and helped me become more of a global citizen.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My experience last semester was better than I could have imagined. This gave me the opportunity to go out and travel, see and experience other cultures and gain vast knowledge that you cannot receive in a classroom setting. By the end of my experience, I had done a great amount of self-growth, gain new problem-solving skills and made lasting friendships that would not have been possible without going abroad. I would definitely recommend this program to any students looking to broaden their understandings of the world around them and want to truly experience living on their own.
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?
Like I said previously, I grew so much personally, professionally, and academically by having this opportunity outside of a classroom; both gaining real work experience and learning through a international setting. I was able to work on being more independent, while still having the support of classmates, and a faculty member that came from the same place as me. Another benefit was being able to take a break from campus life, be able to travel and still receive credit! I loved being able to take a step back from the classes within my major and become more knowledgeable about other subjects and experiences that are unique to living in a different country!
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
My advice would be to not let being homesick or being away for a whole semester scare students into not taking this opportunity! Yes, there will be hard days where you will miss your family, friends and probably CSB/SJU, but it’s a change that it totally worth taking. Study abroad is the perfect time to allow yourself to grow in many ways that you did not even know were possible, and to open yourself up to possibilities that would not otherwise be available. taking to students that have gone through this experience is a great resource for those who are curious about taking this chance, and I would love to help be apart of the process.