I write this on my last day as the Programme Intern for the London Study Centre. I’m sitting here looking around my desk at this office, my colleagues and the four walls within which I’ve made many great memories, with my colleagues and also with my students. I find it hard to believe that a whole year has gone by, and that my time in London is coming to a close. But I’m leaving my role more confident, in myself and my ability to succeed in the professional world.
Working on the other side of study abroad was an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. Orchestrating the programmes, as opposed to the one living the study abroad experience, has made me realize all the hard work care that goes into welcoming and supporting students throughout their time abroad. I really should have thanked my study abroad advisors more!! Ultimately, I was able to fulfill the goal that motivated me to apply for the position in the first place: to give back to the study abroad community. Whether it was in the student outreach tasks (emails, videos, blogs), the various programmes unique to the London Study Centre (mentorship, scholarship, student rep), or the events (Spring Trip, Thanksgiving, orientations) throughout the year, I was able to lend my wisdom and experience to the task at hand.
Although I was once again living in a different city, in a different country (the U.K. is the 5th country I live in; soon to be living in a 6th!) adjusting to life abroad as a young professional was VERY different to life as a study abroad student. Fortunately, I had the support of the London Study Centre office staff. From tube/subway etiquette, to the framework of UK politics, to how to make a decent cup of tea, I learned an incredible amount about this country and its people. I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to live and immerse myself in another culture and way of life.
Where to next? After a brief (my mother would argue ‘overdue’) tour of Cali, I will be coming back to Europe for grad school! I’m proud to share that I will be starting my master’s programme in Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin this fall. This is my sixth destination abroad and perhaps my last, but as I’m aiming for an international career, this is only the next stop for now.
Thank you to all the students I met, talked to, or who read my emails! It was a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of your experience. To the staff at the Edinburgh and London Study Centres, thank you for gifting me with this opportunity, and for supporting me throughout this learning experience. It’s only ‘goodbye, for now…’