The last 5 years of my life have been one long study abroad experience. I added to that experience by participating in the UNC Honors Semester in London in the Spring of 2017. I had the most amazing time there, and London remains one of my favorite places in the world. When I got back, I was interviewed by the Undergraduate Admissions team. Here are a few of my thoughts on studying abroad.
Why you picked this program: I had always wanted to live in London and the program was the perfect opportunity for me to do so. The diversity of the city is something that I’ve always been drawn to and it was interesting to explore the ways in which British culture has influenced Zambian culture, as we are a former colony.
How UNC helped: UNC played a vital role in me studying abroad. The program is directly affiliated with the university so all my class credits (and my internship credits) transferred easily. The Honors department helped me find an amazing internship in Reading, UK, where I was able to gain new tangible skills that have already begun to serve me in other internships and classes. Through the Honors Spring Semester in London, I was able to meet fantastic people that I might never have met at UNC. We roamed in different circles prior to the trip but are now a family. (They are the only ones who can understand all my allusions to British pop culture).
Advice to students who want to study abroad: My first piece of advice would be to go ahead and do it! If you’re considering studying abroad and have the opportunity to do so, I would strongly recommend that you add that experience to your life. Choose a place that you’ve always wanted to visit or a place that you know absolutely nothing about. Either way, it’s bound to create memories that you can use in your autobiography later on. Studying abroad is becoming easier with scholarship opportunities, available class credits, and encouragement and support from the university. There are plenty of people willing to help you out and make this opportunity possible (including me).
I cannot express how important I feel that travel and exploration are to gaining empathy for those around us. Immersion in another culture is the best way to break stereotypes about it.