Joseph is an Ambassador who studied abroad in London
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I realized that studying abroad at CSB/SJU would be a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn't pass up. I wanted to get as much out of my four years as possible. I knew that a lot of my peers were planning to study abroad and even though I didn't originally plan on doing so, I quickly changed my mind when I saw all the amazing experiences they had.
I chose the London Spring program because it not only fit my academic plan very well but also because it would be a special chance to live and study in the epicenter of the industrial revolution. London was unique in that it offered a huge variety of cultures from all over the world in one incredible city.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One of the significant parts of my London experience was when I joined a student-run club at Imperial College. It was an engineering club where the students restored and operated a 1916 fire truck named Jezebel and a 1926 lorry named Clem. In this club I had many memorable experiences and adventures with the students where we went all over the greater city to automotive events. I learned a great deal about engineering and automotive culture in the UK as a result.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I had an amazing group of faculty at our host school FIE. Our teachers worked hard to extend our learning experience and to take advantage of the extensive wealth of culture and knowledge around us. Every course I attended included many field trips to very unique parts of the greater city. I will never forget some of these unique experiences at everything from mosques to a public policy event in the crypt of the Duke of Wellington.
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?
The experiences I had abroad could have never been replicated back home. I was exposed to a lot of cultural and academic ideology that is just not apparent at a private Midwestern college. Since returning many people including interviewers have been fascinated and intrigued by my experiences and how I reflected on them. People seem to really value the sorts of experience students bring back with them from abroad.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
I would advise someone to take advantage of this opportunity to not only work towards their degree but to do it in an abroad situation where they will get so much more for their time and hard work. Study abroad is far different from just a vacation. What you learn abroad is how to truly live in unfamiliar cultures and face new challenges that will help one grow as an individual.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in London, or want to have access to my blog? Email Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org