This week we have a post from Jonathan who studied abroad in London, England at St. Mary's University in the Spring of 2014. Not to far from where I studied in Dalkeith, Scotland. Just a short 5 hour train ride away! That's what's so amazing and beautiful though about not only the UK, but Europe in general. It's so simple to take a train, flight or bus and be in a different country within a few hours. London was an amazing city to visit and it was exciting to read about an adventure from someone who lived there for an entire semester, to learn what London is really like and to really see it from a resident's perspective. I hope you all enjoy Jonathan's story, I know I did!
Let me introduce myself! My name is Jonathan Brumm and I am one of the Student Ambassadors for the Education Abroad Office on campus. Although I enjoyed my studies as an English Education major at Platteville, I took the plunge and studied abroad at St. Mary’s during the spring semester of 2014. I just wanted to share a few of my insights with you about the whole “international education” experience.
While I am sure many of you have traveled around the United States and world, I would like to clarify that an education abroad is nothing like a long trip. The program at St. Mary’s reserves an expectation that their students work before they play. But hey! Don’t think that your time there will be completely absorbed by classwork: there is a historically engrained expectation in England (especially London) of young adults being independent. During the school week, most classes typically meet just once or twice so that you may engage with your peers and educators and spend your mornings and afternoons casually focusing on studies. After the day finishes, which can often be in the early afternoon, the time for exploration and leisure begins!
Neatly situated just outside the hustle of central London, St. Mary’s is planted in between the two residential hubs of Twickenham and Teddington right on the River Thames. Southwest London is known for its safety, quiet green parks and friendly folks, but also for a perky nightlife and shopping culture. It is only a short train ride into the center of the city, which makes exploring London more convenient. While I would like to say it is easy to unlock all that London has to offer, the sheer amount of pubs, museums, concerts, theaters, palaces and castles is overwhelming. And that is not to mention what the rest of Europe has to offer!
I advocate that you imagine the differences between the experiences you will have during a semester at Platteville with the one you will have at St. Mary’s; conjuring ideas and dreams of life in England will really put you in a great mindset! I know that through your prospective process you have been hearing past study abroad students passionately—sometimes obsessively—describe how much of a valuable experience they had while overseas. While it’s great to hear those broad encouragements, I suggest that you come and visit me or my other peers in the Abroad Office so you can get a more personalized idea of what a semester abroad can be!
I have office hours from 12:00-2:00pm every Wednesday, so feel free to drop by for a chat! Otherwise, I have numerous pockets of free time in my schedule throughout the week during which we could set up a meet.
Education Abroad Ambassador,
University of Wisconsin – Platteville
As you read from above Jonathan had nothing but good things to say about London and St. Mary's University. Each Education Abroad Program offers such a unique and different experience, there's simply something for everyone. I know I wish I could do them all, if only travel was free! If you would like to learn more about studying abroad in London be sure to come in and visit Jonathan during his office hours. I'm sure he has countless stories to tell, we all do.