Monday, April 10, 2023
Raj Aditya

Originally from India, Raj Aditya is a senior studying finance at the University of Iowa. During COVID-19 he did a virtual internship in London. After graduation in May 2023, he will expand his global footprint there again through his graduate studies. Learn more about his experience and future plans through the Q&A below.  

What prompted you to study abroad in the first place? 

I wanted to study abroad out of curiosity. I have always been curious when it comes to going to new places, especially visiting different countries. Since I am an international student, I was already familiar with what it is like to go to a different country to stay for a while. When I saw the IES Study Abroad site, I was convinced I wanted to go to Dublin and do an internship over the summer of 2022. I started working on it before the winter break in 2021 to get a head start and get a study abroad advisor as soon as possible. Immediately after the winter break, I got confirmation that I was selected to do a global internship in Dublin over the summer. 

I was excited to go to Dublin, but, suddenly during spring break, I got the news that I would need to apply for my visa as I was not an American citizen. I panicked and immediately started looking for the visa process. Unfortunately, because of COVID protocols, the Irish Embassy in Chicago was not offering in-person appointments and the online visa process was going to take at least two to three months. That is when I decided to do an online internship in London instead of taking that risk. At first, I was sad but immediately cheered up as I got an internship at a good company as a prospective researcher. 

How was your virtual study abroad experience in London? 

My online internship in London was great. The people I worked with were very professional and friendly. I found common ground with my coworkers, such as talking about football (soccer), bands, and TV shows like Peaky Blinders. Since it was a small company, I did not have to deal with a lot of people and make new relationships. I pretty much worked with the same people throughout my internship. I even got to work directly under the CEO for a while, and during my final week, I researched 100+ companies for him. It was a great opportunity, and I am still in contact with some people through LinkedIn. 

What are your future career goals and plans? 

I recently accepted an offer from the Royal Holloway, University of London in England for a master’s degree in finance. I hope to complete my master’s in one year and then work as a financial or business analyst for the finance department of a big company. The company I did an internship with last year has also reached out to me for a potential job after the completion of my master’s degree. I hope to stay in a big city like London for a while, gain some work experience, and then try and apply to international companies in Japan. 

What advice would you give to other international students considering studying abroad?  

I would advise international students to plan as far in advance for studying abroad as possible. Apply for a program, get accepted into it, and then start working on getting a visa four to five months ahead. 


International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.