Program and Location:
Summer, STEM and Liberal Studies in the UK; London, England
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I didn’t want to regret not going when I had the chance to. I know many people who regretted not going when they were in college. I always wanted to go to London and I am glad that I finally got the chance while taking classes and getting college credit. Finances was also a factor, but I was able to fund my program with several scholarships and only had to pay $150 of the program cost and $1,000 for the flight.
What did you learn about yourself?
I feel like I can take on the world. I am a Senior this year. This year, I’m going to have to start applying for grad school and jobs. In a year, I’m going to be living on my own. I’m already an out of state student, but I’m planning to stay in North Carolina and my family is moving to Texas. My support system is moving even farther away. This trip has helped me understand that I can do this. I can be on my own. I can navigate a new city. I can do this by myself, because that is what I had to do here. I’m not afraid of it anymore.
What was one of your favorite parts of your program?
I think one of my favorite parts of the program was being able to see Hamilton: An American Musical and Hamlet in the same day. I got to see Hamilton for about $100, which is way cheaper than I could have seen in America. Then less than two hours later, I went to the recreated Shakespeare’s Globe with my class.It was cool to see two different productions written in two time periods. I also loved being able to take a weekend trip to Paris. I’ve always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and immediately fell in love.
What advice do you have to future study abroad students?
Don’t be afraid. Just do it. Take the leap and go. It is amazing to be able to be abroad. It can change your entire perspective on the world and yourself. It’s an experience that can literally change your life.
How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?
What I loved about these courses were that we had to treat London like our classroom to understand the material. We got to be hands on and experience what we were learning about firsthand. We took trips to Stonehenge, Bath, the Tower of London, the recreated Shakespeare’s Globe, the Handel and Hendrix flats, Museum of London, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. We were able to take High Tea at Westminster Abbey and saw Kinky Boots on the West End. I wouldn’t have gotten this experience, if I was back at NC State.
Would you do it again?
Yes. 100 times yes. I honestly wished that I hadn’t waited so long to do it. I might have been able to travel somewhere else.
In what ways did your identity have an impact on your experience abroad?
I honestly don’t think that my identity had any impact on me abroad. London is truly the World’s Capital. 3 million residents are foreign-born and there are over 300 languages spoken within the city. I could go down one street and be in a Lebanese section of the city and the next street might be Hyde Park and then I could walk down another street and be in a Hispanic section. I don’t think that I was ever discriminated against, or experienced racism, and my race wasn’t a factor in any decisions I had to make or the way people talked to me.