Hello blog! It’s been a minute. Today I wanted to take some time and reflect on the beginning of my experience. Looking back before the beginning of the semester, it’s interesting to compare my expectations for the program and what my actual experience has been. I think like a lot of students who study abroad, I may have had many unnecessary fears and fantastical expectations for this experience.
Academically, I think that I definitely bought in to the stereotype that study abroad courses are “easy”. I think I especially believed it because I was scheduled to take many of my remaining liberal arts courses instead of my main business curriculum. After spending some time in my classes, I think the stereotype is both true and false. So far, I would say that my courses are equally as demanding on my time as my courses at home but in a different way. In my classes I find myself writing a lot more papers and reports than I would at home, and less traditional exams. While I enjoy writing, it does get strenuous writing 5 research papers in a row: However I would say the learning part could be considered “easier” because my teachers are able to add in fun and interesting field studies and excursions that allow students to experience the concepts outside of a traditional lecture setting.
On the professional side, I definitely had many fears for my internship. The job posting I received from CAPA made the role appear very intense, and the thought of doing 20 hours a week along with class seemed daunting. I think I was also very nervous to embarrass myself in such a different cultural setting. But my fears were quickly assuaged when I arrived at my internship. I work with a small close knit-team that was really friendly and welcoming. My supervisor is also very patient with explaining new concepts and tasks so I feel that I was able to adapt to the work quickly.
And finally, as for my personal life, I did not really know what to expect. I hoped to make friends from other universities, meet people from London, and travel a lot. So far, I feel that I have been able to hit all three goals somewhat. Participating in events like pub quiz at Student Central have helped to meet some actual British students, however not as much as I expected due constraints on my time. However at CAPA I’ve been able to meet a lot of wonderful American students who I’ve become close with. And while I have not been able to travel every weekend like I planned, I’ve been able to experience a couple of really wonderful weekend trips and still complete my assignments on time!
Looking back, I was definitely a bit overwhelmed trying to imagine what my experience would be like but I’m happy to say that it has all worked out for the best.