Keegan is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London.
Major: Global Business Leadership
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad to become more culturally educated with a country outside of the United States. I knew since freshman year I wanted to study abroad and fully immerse myself in a different society for a full semester. I decided on the London program because it best fit my schedule, and also worked well with my major. London uniquely offered an internship opportunity that I was required to take for Global Business. I also chose London because it was just enough out of my comfort zone that I wouldn't panic. I knew if I went to a country that spoke a different language I would move into the "panic" zone.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
This lasting impression actually occurred on my last day in London. Most of the flat had left to go home the previous day, so I took full advantage of being by myself in London on my last day. As I was walking through Hyde Park, a lady approached me asking for directions to winter wonderland. I responded with "If you continue down this path and follow the water, you'll see a black bridge that you will cross and it will be just beyond the restaurant you see on your left". She looked at me puzzled that I did not have an American accent and asked how I knew that if I was American. I replied I had been studying abroad and knew the park well because we lived across the street. She thanked me and went on her way. This is special to me because I had successfully given instructions to a native Londoner being a study abroad student.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My overall experience and my internship experience was amazing. My job placement worked out great and I made long lasting relationships with my co-workers. My employer even offered me a position at the company if I ever decided to return to London. The classes I took were great and our faculty leader taught our class very well. I had a lot of fun meeting the other groups that studied at FIE and made a lot of friends from other colleges. Overall it was an amazing experience and I loved being abroad in London.
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?
Some of the benefits I experienced from studying abroad was becoming more globally minded, gaining more respect for different cultures, and having a deeper appreciation for travel. Personally study abroad helped me grow more as a person, teaching me how to problem solve, to stay calm under pressure, and becoming more independent. Academically, it was my best semester of college not only GPA wise, but what I took away from my classes as well. Professionally I was able to successfully complete an international internship and create professional connections in London.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
APPLY! If you have any interest what-so-ever send in an application. It will be the best experience of your life. I would also recommend journaling, you will grow a lot as a person and make many memories so write them down! My last recommendation is to get out and explore. Don't waste time in your flat or apartment, time abroad goes by so fast.