Lessons I Learned from Studying Abroad in London
Returning to the U.S. after a semester of studying and interning abroad in London, I've changed my life outlook and learned plenty of lessons along the way. Developing and perfecting several skills during my time abroad, such as time management and independence, allowed me to become a better version of myself. Being a part of the CEA CAPA Content Creator community not only helped me perfect several skills but also taught me a number of lessons listed below.
One of London's most famous landmarks, Big Ben.
I had an exciting time studying and interning in London, but it came with challenges. The busy streets, famous landmarks, and interesting history were mixed with the challenge of finding my way around a city that I didn't know how to navigate. Every day felt like an exhilarating adventure!
With such a transformative approach, everything I knew changed. Adapting quickly is a skill that you’ll notice you take on while studying abroad. It was difficult at times to understand Londoners’ slang or traffic signs, but when you look at it from a positive outlook, these experiences are exciting and easy to adapt to in time. Returning to the U.S., I sometimes catch myself using some slang I picked up from my study abroad city! When you acquire the skill of being easily adaptable, your life becomes so much more exciting. This taught me that I can explore so much more of the world because I have this skill under my belt.
When reflecting, I realize that every difficult situation I experienced in London enhanced my problem solving skills and now I’m more resilient. Navigating public transportation, interacting with various cultures, and handling unexpected problems all contributed to me adapting to my surroundings. I learned from these experiences that these aren’t obstacles, but instead chances to develop and improve my independence.
Navigating the city can seem challenging, but it's so rewarding with views like this!
Finding a good balance between my schoolwork and exploring London during my summer abroad taught me how to manage my time efficiently. I used some management skills and created clear objectives for each day, made a plan for doing schoolwork, and took advantage of breaks to explore new places (like when I went to London’s Brick Lane). These tips helped me succeed in the 'studying' part of studying abroad, and also made sure I didn’t miss out on the exciting things happening in the city.
Meeting and getting to know a variety of people including other students, people from the area, and professionals while I lived in London showed me how important it is to connect with others while abroad. Every time I met people from other countries, it showed me how far my global connections can go. Additionally, my internship introduced me to connections with professionals in my area of work. Try to stay in touch with your coworkers and boss for future opportunities! These relationships helped me understand how careers can look worldwide and also gave me chances to work with others and find new opportunities. Connecting with others brings you a whole new world of friendships and potential opportunities.
My new friend and I at Camden Market in London on one of our free afternoons.
My time studying and interning in London presented me with many valuable lessons that still impact me even after returning to the U.S. The challenges of adjusting to new situations, being good at managing time, and building connections with others propelled me to be a stronger, more adaptable, and globally-aware person. These lessons go beyond borders and make me more confident in my daily life as a student and young professional. I grew to appreciate the many different cultures in the world and often find myself daydreaming about London.
As I find my way back home, I bring along the lasting effects of personal growth that can only come from studying and interning abroad. For those thinking about a similar journey, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. It's a path that can create new friendships, change you for the better, and overall, help you find yourself.
Veronica Gawin is an official blogger for Summer ‘23, sharing her story in frequent posts on our blog. A Strategic Communication major at University of Missouri-Columbia, she is studying and interning abroad in London this semester. All views expressed are her own and may or may not reflect the experiences of other students.
Veronica Gawin is the Content Creator - Blogger.