Hannah 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 wanted to get a unique learning experience in a setting other than the CSB/SJU campus. I love traveling, so being able to travel and continue my education seemed like a perfect option. My parents also both went to CSB/SJU and studied abroad and loved every moment of it. I decided on London because it is incredibly full of art, history, theatre, and so much more! I also chose London because it was a program with an internship, which is a very rare opportunity to intern in a foreign country. I am so happy with my decision, because this past semester in London was the most incredible experience.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
I took a course about Islam and the West and got the opportunity to visit a mosque, as well as have a meal with a guest speaker from the class. I got to eat and talk with individuals from the Muslim community and I learned so much more than I would have in a classroom. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and opened my eyes to the vast multiculturalism all around us every day.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
The entire study abroad and internship abroad was an incredible experience. I got to take courses on British life and go on excursions to museums and other landmarks to learn out of the classroom. I got the opportunity to intern at an organization that focused on using preventative education to end violence in relationships. I ran their social media accounts, conducted research, and got to participate in multiple projects the team was working on. It was beneficial by allowing me to learn first hand about the work culture in London and to also create connections and relationships with the individuals at the organization.
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 list of benefits for spending a semester abroad are endless, but a few main benefits would include gaining independence, stepping out of your comfort zone, experiencing a new culture, gaining and enhancing your skills, and creating lasting friendships. This semester abroad has contributed to my personal development by forcing me to learn how to navigate a new city all by myself, in turn giving me a great deal of freedom and independence. Regarding academic development, I was able to take courses and learn about new cultures. By learning in a different environment, I learned the importance of adaptability. For professional development, I learned more about my interests from taking part in the internship with the specific focus on helping domestic violence in the area of psychology. I also gained new connections and work experience, which will benefit me in the future.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
I would tell CSB/SJU students to definitely go for it! You have the opportunity to continue your education in a different country and have so much fun while doing it. It is definitely worth every penny, because you will have experiences and memories to last you a lifetime.