Many students who are studying abroad in the UK have expressed interest in the position I currently hold as the Programme Intern for the London Study Centre. These students, only a month or so into their time studying abroad, already know that they want to come back to England after college, and I had a similar feeling while I was studying here. 10 months living in Great Britain just wasn’t long enough for me. The Programme Intern position at the London Study Centre for UCEAP was the perfect opportunity for me because it allows me to work with students who are studying abroad so that I might be able to help them love their time in Britain as much as I loved mine.
When I returned to UC Davis after my year at the University of Sussex, I attended a few events for prospective study abroad students. Because I wanted to give students advice on how they could get the most out of their own time studying abroad, I used these events as an opportunity to reflect on why I enjoyed my experience so much. The main piece of pre-departure advice that I gave to students was this: to think about what they wanted to do while studying abroad before they actually went, whether it was travelling, making British friends, engaging in some sort of volunteer or research project at their Host University, etc. If they had an idea of what they wanted to accomplish while abroad they would be more likely to do it.
As the Programme Intern for the London Study Centre I get to interact with students during their study abroad experience, instead of only before it. It’s great to see students I had spoken to back in California who are actually living in the UK now and to hear about their own experiences. And although I am still adjusting to living in London and do not claim to know everything about study abroad, I love being able to answer questions that students might have about life in the UK while they’re actually here.
As the Programme Intern for the London Study Centre I also get to help make studying abroad more fun for students by helping plan events for them. When you study abroad you certainly do study, but being in another country offers other opportunities as well, such as celebrating events in unique and exclusive British venues. Being a part of these events and seeing the excitement of the students when they finally attend what we have spent many months planning is certainly rewarding.
I was incredibly passionate about my time abroad and I have held onto this passion over a year after my return. I am considering making a career out of study abroad programmes or international education, and this internship is an amazing first step.