Getting My Steps In

 During my stay in London, I am taking 6 total credits through an International Marketing Course and an International Internship course. Both of these courses are run by CAPA The Global Education Network. CAPA’s classrooms are located in Kensington, in the western part of central London – just down the road from Kensington Palace!

The overall culture of the city is extremely welcoming. One day for my internship, I went with another intern at my company to a bunch of showrooms that showcase furniture that our company supplies (my company being an office furniture supplier). We noticed that at the seven or eight different showrooms that we visited, the people at everyone were happy to offer us tea or coffee, and even take time out of their day to give us a tour.

One of the showrooms that we got to visit.

Both of the courses that I am taking are very intellectually stimulating. In my marketing course, we have looked at a lot of case studies of companies that have moved their brands into different parts of the world. We then discuss and analyze their performance along with the different marketing strategies that they utilized. My internship course is similar to a career development class, right now we are preparing our cover letters and resumes for a mock job interview.

One big difference between classes here and at the University of Pittsburgh has been the class size. Whereas at Pitt I’ve become accustomed to classes ranging anywhere from 30 to 100+ students, my classes here have no more than 15 kids. I really like this change of pace as I have been able to form genuine connections with those in my classes because of these smaller sizes. Classes at CAPA are also writing and project-based rather than focusing on exams. Due to just the six-week program length, it doesn’t make much sense to cram all the information into tests. So, professors have replaced these with several papers and group projects.

For my living situation, I am located in Islington, just north of the city of London, with four other roommates. There is a good collection of pubs, shops, and restaurants on the main road right next to my flat.

After being situated in Islington for a little over two weeks now, I can say that I’ve finally adapted to being in London. The main learning challenge that I had to get over was the underground system. For the first week or so I found myself relying on Apple Maps to get me to and from the CAPA center and my internship, and I admit I did get lost a few times. But now I can find my way to and from most places on my own.

A map of the entire London Underground! With all of those stops, it’s easy to see how it can take some getting used to!

One of the main advantages of being in London is that there is always something to do. This last week I went to the first-ever LIV Golf tournament that just happened to be a 30-minute train ride from where I live.

A picture I got of Phil Mickelson teeing off on the hole 18!

Not only is something fun always happening, but there are also a ton of cool places and countries that are close by. Just this past weekend, my roommates and I visited Scotland where we got to see Edinburgh and hike Arthur’s Seat, a huge cliff face that overlooks the city. We have also planned a trip to go to Sligo, Ireland, where we are going to play a round of golf at Strandhill Gold club and hike the countryside.

From the classroom to the historic city, my time in London has been a blast so far and I’m very excited for my final two weeks in the UK!