As the first term of the school year wraps up, so does my first term as the UCEAP London Study Centre Programme Intern. These past four months have taught me so much and I am grateful for the opportunities that have been made available because of this position. From meeting students, to helping with events, to just living in London, this term has introduced me to new experiences that are certainly influencing me as I navigate my first year as a college graduate.
Like many of my peers, I am still trying to figure out how the degree I spent four years working on will factor into my career and the rest of my life. Having majored in anthropology and minored in education, international education seems like a great choice for me, and this internship is a wonderful and unique starting point. I am able to see how a study abroad programme functions, but instead of being removed from the actual experience of the students, I am an active participant. I interact with them while they are abroad, rather than before they go or after they return. For me, studying abroad was the most meaningful, important and fun part of college, and I am happy that my involvement with UCEAP didn’t end when my plane touched down in California after my own year abroad.
But working for an education abroad programme is not the same thing as participating in one. When I was a study abroad student I was in a much smaller city and lived on my Host University’s campus; now, I live in a flat in East London with flatmates I found on the internet, and I take the tube into the office everyday. Living here is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, but I definitely appreciate the challenge. I was thrown into the real world less than two months after graduating from college and now I know I will be ready for any future opportunities that come along.
I am so fortunate that my internship with the London Study Centre will continue for another seven months after the holidays. I am excited to continue learning from this job, living in London, and figuring out how I want study abroad and international education to shape my future. I can’t wait to see what next term brings!