Hello, world! After four months of living abroad, I am now back in the comforts of my hometown. I spent the last four months living in London, England, while also traveling to other European cities. Overall, I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to study abroad.
I applied to study abroad at Fordham University’s London Centre campus at the end of June. Within a week I had received an acceptance letter to the program. I am very lucky that Fordham has another campus in a different country that also offers the same courses. This allowed me to stay on track and not fall behind my counterparts in NYC.
After getting accepted, my next decision was to decide if I was going to study abroad or not. I knew I wanted to have the opportunity to go study in London because I thought it would be a great city to further learn about business and I wanted to travel outside of the U.S. for the first time. However, I didn’t really want to study abroad if I didn’t know anyone else going. I was very lucky that three of my friends decided to study abroad, too.
Now it was set, I was going to study abroad. I paid my deposit. I booked my flight. I packed up my stuff in NYC. I was ready to leave the U.S. for the first time.
On Mon. Jan 9, my parents dropped me off at Sky Harbor International Airport. I arrived at the airport three hours early as advised. However, it only took about 30 minutes to drop off my checked bag, have my passport checked, and go through security. I had an 11-hour flight to London. On Tues., Jan 10, I arrived at Heathrow Airport in London. I moved into my flat on Wednesday. While in London, I lived in the area known as Little Venice. Thursday and Friday I had academic orientation. My campus was located in Kensington hosted at Heythrop College. During my first week in London, I got to see Kensington Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Harrods, the British Museum, Trafalgar Square, and King’s Cross.
The classes I took while studying abroad included: Strategy, Managerial Accounting, Business Communications 2, Financial Management, Text & Contexts: British Writers, and Information Systems 2. For my Business Communications 2 class, we focused on developing a personal brand. Our final project was to pick any medium to help convey our personal brand. For my final project, I chose to create a video, which I could use for my professional portfolio. My video talks about my education and interests. If you are interested in watching the video, you can click here. Enjoy!
My next week in London I went to the Queen’s House, Shake Shack, and Tower Bridge.
The following day I went to St. James’s park and saw the Women’s March going on. Then we tried to see the Clarence House, but we were told that we couldn’t go inside. A guard told us that The Crown was filming at the Clarence House. We also saw the changing of the horse guards. We took the tube to Camden Market. We had pad thai for lunch.
The following day I climbed 311 steps to the top of the Monument. I saw Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the Millenium Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The last week in January my friends and I went to Paris. We left early Friday by train. After arriving in Paris, we dropped off our bags at our hostel. Our first stop was to see the July Column. Then we went to Norte Dame. We walked through Luxembourg Gardens. We grabbed lunch and I had a salad and fries. Afterward, we went to Musée d’Orsay. I loved Musée d’Orsay. Our next stop was the Eiffel Tower. I loved taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower.
The following day we started off by going to Sacre Coeur. At Sacre Coeur, we climbed up to the dome, and it was such an amazing view of Paris. Then we went to the Paris Opera House. We had crepes for lunch. After lunch, we went to the Louvre.
Our last day in Paris was spent climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, eating macaroons from Laduree, and walking up and down the Champs-Elysees.
The first week in February my friends and I bought a 3-day London Pass. Our first day we went to the House of Commons Public Gallery and heard the reading of a bill. Then we took an audio tour of Westminster Abbey. We made our way over to Buckingham Palace and looked at art at the Queen’s Gallery.
The next day we went to Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace.
The following day we went to Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London.
The next weekend my friends and I made our way to Ireland. We landed in Dublin and we ate fish and chips. Then we went on a walking tour of Dublin. That night we ate dinner at The Brazen Head.
Saturday morning we made our way across Ireland. We stopped in Doolin to eat lunch. We visited the Cliffs of Moher. We spent the night in Galway.
Sunday we made our way back to Dublin. Our last stop was the Guinness Storehouse.
The next two weekends I stayed in London. I did see The Phantom of the Opera on Feb. 27 and it was absolutely fantastic.
March 3rd was the first day of my spring break. That Friday I left for Edinburgh, Scotland. I went on a walking tour of Old Town Edinburgh and ate dinner at The Elephant Castle.
The next day was spent going to The Highlands and hanging out in Loch Ness.
The following day I went to Culloden Battlefield and Birnam.
On March 6th, I left for Barcelona. I saw the Arenas de Barcelona, Plaça d’Espanya, and La Rambla.
The next day I went to the Parc De La Ciutadella, Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, Casa Batlló.
The next day I went and saw Parc del Laberint d’Horta, Park Guell, and La Sagrada Familia. I loved Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia.
My last day in Barcelona was spent going to the beach and eating empanadas.
Barcelona was definitely my favorite place I visited.
On March 24th and March 25th, my friend and I went to Brussels. We visited the Grand Place, the Royal Palace, Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, and Atomium. I also ate a lot of waffles and french fries.
The following weekend I went to Rome for four days with my business program. I left bright and early Thursday morning. We ate lunch then visited the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Afterward, we checked into our hotel.
The following day we went to lecture at Chicago Loyal’s Rome campus. Then we went into the city. We visited the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.
The next day we walked around the city and sat along the Tiber river.
Sunday morning I went to mass at St Peter’s Basilica. Then I went up to the dome of St Peter’s Basilica. Afterward, I went to Castel Sant’Angelo. My friends and I decided to wander around the city until it was time to go back to our hotel. We did face some setbacks. First off, the Rome marathon was happening so to cross the street we actually had to run through the marathon. Secondly, it was pouring. Third, there was no public transportation or taxis so we had to walk almost 40 minutes until we found a taxi outside the city. Thank goodness, we made it to our hotel in time.
The next weekend I went to Amsterdam. My first stop was to the Pancake Bakery where I had a delicious dame blanche. Then I went to Dam Square and Rembrandt’s house. I enjoyed nature at the botanical gardens and bloemenmarkt. I go to sit at the Fault in Our Stars bench. I ended my first day with a canal cruise around Amsterdam with two great tour guides (shoutout to Ron and Nel).
On Saturday, I went on a bike tour to the countryside and saw a windmill and a cheese and clogs factory. Then I enjoyed art at the Van Gogh museum. Amsterdam was the perfect place to have my last European weekend getaway.
I stayed in London the next weekend. I got to see one of my friends from NYC. On Saturday, I took a walk along the canals in London and ended up at Camden Market.
For Easter, I went to breakfast.
My next weekend I took a photo at Abbey Road.
On Saturday, I got to view London from the London Eye.
My last weekend in London I got to have afternoon tea.
Overall, I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to study abroad. I believe that I learned so much about myself. I really feel like I have grown as an individual. I highly recommend that if you have the opportunity to study abroad and you are interested, then you should definitely do it.
So what’s my next step in my journey? I am spending the summer in Tempe. I have two internships. One is full-time, paid 40 hours a week internship. Another is an unpaid, remote internship. I am really looking forward to this summer.