Page 20 - FOXTALK Fall 2012

Basic HTML Version

20
Fall 2012
London feels like
home to journalism
student
S
tudying abroad the fall of my junior year
was
probably the best decision I ever made (besides
coming to Marist). My whole childhood my
parents had always taken me and my brother on
bizarre international trips instead of the typical Dis-
ney World summer vacation, so studying abroad wasn’t
something I felt I had to do. However, my mom and my
dad realized the great opportunity I would be passing up
and explained that studying and living for four months on
my own was completely different than what I had done. I
took what they said seriously and started my application.
The biggest problem was deciding on a country to study
in, not such a bad problem to have, but there were so
many programs offered I didn’t want to miss out on any-
thing. Would I go with the majority of Marist students to
Florence and live at our branch campus? Would I go to
France and finally become completely fluent in a language
I had taken for years? Spain? Prague? China? I was about
to close my eyes and just point to a location on the map,
when I heard someone talking about internships abroad.
I instantly perked up, as a communications major with a
journalism concentration, even though it wasn’t required
for me to graduate, I still really wanted an internship
experience. So when I learned that through one of the
programs in London I would be guaranteed an internship,
I was sold. Once my mind was made up on where I would
be, the excitement was almost overwhelming.
But, excitement quickly turned to nerves on Aug. 31
when I was on my way to John F. Kennedy International
Airport to leave the good ol ’ United States for four
months. Luckily, one of my best friends and I booked our
flights together so I knew I’d at least have someone else
to share the excitement and nerves with. After arriving
at Heathrow and taking a cab into Central London, we
arrived at our flat. As most European things are, it was
small. But that cozy little flat was home sweet home for
the rest of the semester.
Since three of my other good friends from Marist and I
were all living in the same flat, we waited for everyone’s
different flights to arrive, then we fought the jet lag and
started exploring the city. Looking back on that first
week of roaming around and getting lost, I had no idea
that I would be lucky enough to walk through Hyde Park
every day on my way to my internship, having Big Ben a
five-minute tube stop away, or even being able to go to
the university ’s on-campus bar and meet international
and British students alike. I soon realized that all of the
excitement and things I fell in love with the first week
would remain at my fingertips for the rest of the semester.
Being in Europe also gave me the advantage of being
able to visit so many other cultures and countries. We
spent our mid-semester break running around Venice and
Florence, there was the spur of the moment three-day
trip to Amsterdam and Bruges, and I will never forget my
trip to Istanbul, Turkey, which I took as part of a class
field trip. But all my fondest memories were my every day
routine as a Londoner: talking to my professors from the
Foundation of International Education (the program I
studied through), especially my Shakespeare teacher who
used any excuse to take us to The Globe Theatre to see
productions; the people I worked with at my internship—
the online travel company, Isango—who would always
bring in chocolates and tea, and ask me funny questions
about things that were foreign concepts to them, like
American football and Thanksgiving; and going out at
night to Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square, where
people were just as “charmed” by our American accents as
I was by their British accents. I felt scared at times with
the new culture, but overall the experience shaped me into
a more mature and worldly student, as well as leaving me
with memories that will last a lifetime.
BY KELSEY ODOM, ’13
photos courtesy of Kelsey Odom, ‘13
Study Abroad
Nerves turn to comfort in short
order for this experienced traveler