Lauren is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London
Major: English, Communication
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
Going into college, I knew that I wanted to participate in a study abroad program. I was interested in the London program for a variety of reasons. One of the things that interested me is just how big London is and how much there is to do. I really liked the idea of getting to live in a place where there is so much going on all the time. I also liked that the London program included an internship. Getting to live, study, and work in another country appealed to me as it let me see more what life is really like for the people that live and work there.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
During my internship, I was able to talk with people that live in London and even grew up there. I really enjoyed getting to know them and hear about what their lives were like growing up in such a huge city. It was also interesting to hear their perspectives on current events such as Brexit and the U.S. presidential election.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Studying abroad in London was one of the best choices I have ever made. I really enjoyed getting to know and feel comfortable in a place completely different from anything else I had ever known. Learning about London in our classes and then being able to experience it on my own was extremely valuable. Participating in an internship was one of the highlights as I was able to form connections with people that I had similar interests with that lived 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?
Studying abroad in London had a huge impact on my personal, academic, and professional development. Personally, I was able to step out of my comfort zone, trying lots of new things in London and while traveling to other countries as well. I learned to be much more open-minded and flexible in new situations as well as gaining confidence in my ability to try new things. From an academic standpoint the London program was great because I was able to take classes that interested me and fulfilled my common curriculum and major requirements. Having an internship helped me to explore a possible career path and has even already helped me to get another internship back in the U.S.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Take advantage of every opportunity to try new things. Approaching situations with an open-mind and flexible attitude will allow you to get much more out of the experience. It's also important to remember that it's okay to be nervous. Living in another country for a few months can seem really scary at first, but it is so worth it. Try not to rush your experiences, but just appreciate them as they come.