Derek Durant ’24

Program: London Semester

Major: Exercise & Health Science

Minor: Psychology

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

I decided to study abroad to understand how to live, learn, and grow in a different part of the world. Global education has many benefits that have made me a more well-rounded individual. I also wanted to get experience working in a different environment. I decided on the London program as it fit my personal needs and finances. Additional to that, London doesn’t have a language barrier and I really enjoyed that aspect of the program.

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

A specific cultural experience I had on my program was within my internship. Interning in London might not seem different as they all speak the same language. However, much of the work culture within my internship was different from the United States. One instance in particular was the lack of clarity on certain day-to-day tasks that were expected of you. Luckily, the people are all super kind, and they like when you ask questions!

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My overall experience was much higher than anticipated. While I knew that I would have the time of my life, I didn’t expect to come back and think about study abroad every single day. The experiences I had cannot be explained in words or photos. I gained a deeper understanding on London’s diverse culture, and I gained deep relationships with people from CSB+SJU as well as other parts of the world. I would go back in a heartbeat.

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 benefits of spending a semester or even a short week abroad are the experiences you get. You gain a new perspective on every aspect of your life and think about things differently. You also realize what in life you really value. I started to understand how close-minded I have been regarding social issues and other important topics. Regarding my development, study abroad has given me many developmental benefits. For my personal development, study abroad taught me how to be on my own and strive! Academically, study abroad enhances your multicultural development and understanding as well as giving you new perspectives on a wide variety of topics. Professionally, study abroad gave me a multicultural work experience in healthcare that has given me additional skills to use in future endeavors in my career. These are skills that I will never forget!

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

The best piece of advice I have for students wanting to study abroad is to just do it! The experiences I had on my study abroad program made me realize how much this meant to me. I didn’t plan on filling out this application, but I realize how much help I can offer future students looking to have the same experiences I had. Another piece of advice is to explore your personal interest. While it is always fun to study abroad with a friend, make sure you put yourself first! I can assure anyone that you will make lifelong friends that weren’t your friends prior to your program. Do your research and find what program you could see yourself in!