Ashley Hill ’24

Program: London Semester

Major: Global Business Leadership

Minor: Psychology

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

I chose to study and intern abroad because I wanted to experience what life was like in a different culture than my own. I also wanted to step out of my comfort zone and learn something new. I am a business major, so having an internship is a part of my curriculum, and London seemed like a great fit for me because it offered me the generals I had left in the Integrations Curriculum as well as an internship.

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

I especially enjoyed being an intern while studying abroad in London. Through my internship, I really got to experience what life was like as a local, not just an American student. I feel that I was fully immersed in the British culture. This is where I learned the most and was able to compare and contrast this culture to my own.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

Choosing to study abroad was the best decision I ever made. I learned so much about British culture and what it is like to live in a culture that is different than my own. Along the way, I also learned a lot about myself. I made lifelong friends and got to explore a new part of the world while connecting academic insight to my experiences.

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 biggest benefits of studying abroad are cultural immersion and personal development. Studying abroad gave me firsthand exposure to a deeper understanding of different customs, traditions, and perspectives. During my internship, I got to build relationships with people who belong to a different culture than my own and this really opened my eyes to become more culturally aware. I also developed personally by living independently in a foreign country. This taught me self-reliance, resilience, and adaptability. Studying abroad pushes you out of your comfort zone, and during this experience, you learn life skills such as problem-solving, communication, and intercultural competence. In addition to this, studying abroad gives you a boost in self-confidence and independence resulting in adaptability and openness to new challenges in the future.

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

Studying abroad can be intimidating, but it is the best thing I have ever done. Taking a step out of your comfort zone can be challenging, but when you overcome the challenge, you will grow as a person and love the experiences along the way. Be present. Take in every second of your experience. Take time to relax and appreciate where you are. Is it not possible to do and see everything while you are abroad. You will be exhausted trying to do so. It is important to remember that you can just relax and take in the wonderful city that you are living in.