The University of Iowa

Student Reflections on Diversity Abroad: London

January 28th, 2020
Emily Studnicka in London

Hello! My name is Emily Studnicka and I am going into my final semester as a marketing major in the Tippie College of Business. As a first-generation college student, I didn’t quite know what to expect as I embarked on my college journey a few short years ago. Now, as I enter the final semester of my senior year, I have come to learn that the most memorable experiences involved taking a step out of my comfort zone. This past winter, I had the opportunity to travel 4,000 miles and spend two weeks studying overseas in London. Bags packed, and a mind full of excitement and wonder, I was finally able to fulfill my dream of enhancing my academic knowledge abroad. 

Being one that falls into a comfortable structure of routine, I couldn’t help but admit that there was a bit of nervousness beneath my undoubted excitement. Immersing myself in a place I’ve never been, and getting involved in a program where I didn’t particularly know many familiar faces, left me questioning if I had made the right decision to spend my winter abroad. However, within minutes of arriving in London, the feeling of independence confirmed that I had made the correct decision for myself. My time spent in London flew by, filling my days with exploration and excitement. From exploring local street markets, to tours highlighting the “haunted history” of London, I strived to make the most of every moment. 

My time spent in London flew by, filling my days with exploration and excitement. From exploring local street markets, to tours highlighting the “haunted history” of London, I strived to make the most of every moment. 

There’s no denying that I occasionally felt awkward and unsure, but through this discomfort came the opportunity to grow. I learned not only how to navigate the London tube system, but to trust my ability to adapt to new situations. Along with extensive memories, I gained an understanding of a new culture and lasting friendships. I adopted a sense of needed flexibility, allowing me to freely live and explore opportunities at ease. My favorite memories ended up being ones planned spur of the moment, proving that you cannot always have a step by step plan for life. 

Following my return to Iowa for the spring semester, I had a new outlook on the world around me. The teachings gained from being abroad were lessons I could not have learned in the classroom. Opening myself to situations, filled with new experiences and individuals, allowed me to gain a deeper understanding for a world less familiar to me. For anyone questioning if the abroad experience is worth it, my answer is simple: Yes. 

Cheers! 
Emily 

 

Please note that the opinions and views expressed by diversity ambassadors are solely those of the students and do not reflect or represent the views of International Programs or the University of Iowa.

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