And just like that, my time in London has come to a close. Although my experience in this amazing city was cut short, I was still able to make the most of this study abroad opportunity. I had many times of achievement, but also faced a lot of challenges. The biggest that stands out to me would be the adaptation period when I first arrived in England. I knew that the process of adjusting to a foreign living, working, and learning environment for this extended time would be unlike anything I had ever done before. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I had to overcome various difficulties. I dealt with this challenge by taking each day at a time and not letting myself become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation. By planning out my days, I was able to create a schedule and keep myself on track. After working through this difficult time, I was able to become more comfortable with my surroundings and focus on enjoying London. I learned that to adapt to a new home while abroad, it is important to break up the time into smaller chunks. By working through each day, you begin to forget about the weight of struggling to fit in. Becoming comfortable does not happen overnight so remaining in the moment is important. If I were to advise another study abroad student who may face a similar challenge, it would be to relax. This experience is once-in-a-lifetime, so don’t spend your time worrying about not being comfortable at first! As with everything on study abroad, it takes time to develop your skills abroad. This includes international competence in adapting to a new situation.
The Spring of 2020 will forever be remembered when life as we knew it flipped upside down. In just the month of March, schools went from open to shut, businesses cut millions of jobs, and study abroad programs were abruptly terminated. Everyone has been forced to adapt to this new and unfamiliar reality, including all of the students who were abroad during this period. As we look for employment opportunities, whether this Summer or beyond, we will be able to use this experience as an example to showcase our skills. In interviews, I will draw upon my time at my internship. Working in London taught me many valuable traits for working within a global business. An example of this would be the final presentation that I was able to complete before I left England. I created a multi-faceted project deck for a prospective client, Fiat. I was given the freedom to design and implement marketing plans for various partners. I was then able to present my findings to a group of executives within the agency. When I started my internship, I wanted to improve my verbal presentation skills. I can now take this experience with me into any future employment. The other major skill I will mention would be the nature of adaptability. I had to adapt before we found out we were leaving England and ending our Spring term. In late February I spent a week in Italy as part of my Spring break. When I returned to London, I found out that my worksite asked me to self-isolate as part of the Coronavirus worries. After finally adjusting to being in the office with my coworkers, I had to complete all of my work from my flat. This was a stressful process as I was forced to work more independently and with fewer questions. All of my communication had to be concise and easy to understand. I know from this experience that I can adapt to various working environments, always making the best of my situation. Overall, I could not have asked for a better experience in London. Even though my time was cut short, I was able to have experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. Pip-Pip, Cheerio London.