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Studying and Interning Abroad in London as a Healthcare Major

January 09, 2024
by Ellie Glende

Navigating a Healthcare Internship Abroad in London, England 

I participated in CEA CAPA’s study and intern abroad program in London. I kept busy with my internship abroad and courses and I still made time to travel and do some tourist activities. Read my first blog about exploring London for more on that! 

My Internship Abroad

I’m a Health Science major and work in a healthcare position at home. I'm very passionate about healthcare and helping others. This is why I pursued an internship abroad in a hospital setting. My internship placement was at King’s College Hospital, in the Quality Improvement team as an Improvement Intern. This team works to improve processes around the hospital, including patient care quality and overall sectors of the hospital. 

A street with a sign over it

I took this picture on my first day of my internship, a cloudy morning filled with excitement. I thought this was picturesque as the “King’s” sign goes right above King’s Hospital.  

My supervisor assigned me many projects and one very high priority project that was presented to the executives of King’s. My coworkers and supervisors were nothing but kind and supportive to me. They were always willing to help and answer any questions I had. I felt very happy with the amount of work they gave me. They kept me busy but also were interested in what I worked on.  

A rooftop of a building with a city in the background

This photo is from the King’s Hospital helipad. It had the best panoramic view of London on one of the nicest days! The clouds almost look fake.  

The first opportunity my internship abroad offered was to tour the King’s College Hospital helipad. This is where the helicopter lands with severe trauma patients. I learned that this helipad is the only one open 24/7 in London. While I was on the helipad, I saw a breathtaking view of London from a high vantage point. I also had the opportunity to take some amazing photos of London. The security worker explained to me how the process works when they have a landing and the safety precautions they use. It was super interesting.  

A person studying and interning abroad taking a selfie on a roof

I couldn't stop smiling while touring the helipad. It was one of the best days of my internship abroad. It made enormous London look so small.  

The second opportunity my internship provided me with is shadowing. I had the privilege to shadow in the SDEC unit at King’s. This is the Same Day Emergency Care unit, and it takes some pressure off the A&E department (Accident & Emergency) with their long wait times. On this day I got to sit in on a consultation with a consultant and a neurology patient. I learned a lot from this. This consultation lasted for a good two hours. Overall, it showed me the care that the UK healthcare system has for its patients. I also got to shadow nurses while they gave transfusions, drew blood, and did tests and observations on patients, and I saw the way that patients got admitted to the SDEC from A&E if they fit the preliminary requirements.  

a person wearing scrubs taking a selfie in a mirror

I was shadowing in the SDEC unit in this picture. It was great experiencing hands-on how the UK healthcare system works.  

I experienced some social things in my internship also. I went out with my coworkers to a diner and we had a nice meal together. We also had a social night at a board game pub. It was so fun. These events overall let me get to know my coworkers better and immersed myself in London’s culture.  

A view from a bus window of a city street

I used the double decker buses to get to my internship! On the way there and back we crossed the beautiful Tower Bridge, which is always bustling with tourists.  

My Academics Abroad

Now onto the academics abroad! I enjoyed all of my courses and learned a lot. Between my classes I like to work on homework or readings in the CEA CAPA London Center’s lounge.  

a table with a book and pen on it at a study abroad center

The CEA CAPA London Center is a great place to get work done and also socialize with others in the program. 

Writing the City Course 

In my Writing the City course, we went on field study of the River Thames. On this study we walked three miles by the river and did a lot of self-reflection of the five senses and wrote about our personal experiences with the river.  

a body of water with a city in the background

Walking by the River Thames.

Human Rights Course 

In my Human Rights course, we went to the Museum of London Docklands. This museum was about slavery and the slave trade in the Atlantic and how London was involved in a large part of it. We saw many hard-hitting artifacts and learned a lot about London’s history with the slave trade.  

A painting of a harbor with boats in a frame

One of many artifacts, paintings, and exhibits at museum that gave me goosebumps.  

Child Development Course 

In my Child Development course, we went to a museum called the Foundling Museum. This museum told the story of the Foundling Hospital, which took in orphans who were abandoned by their mothers. The hospital cared for these children and helped improve their lives.  


A painting in a gold frame on a wall

Thinking critically how museum pieces related to our coursework.

I got to the CEA CAPA London Center for my classes abroad by the tube. For me it was about a half-hour ride to get there. It's a new adventure every time you get one. Sometimes it's jam-packed with people and sometimes it's empty. I used my time on the tube to listen to podcasts and music and read my books.  

a train with people inside

Taking the tube to get to my study abroad classes.

Ellie Glende is the Content Creator - Photographer in London, England, and is currently studying at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
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