Over the summer, I studied abroad through an internship in London. I interned for a PR Marketing company called Fashion Crossover London. The internship alone was an amazing experience to get an insight towards the career I want to go into. Within the internship program for CIEE, there were about 7 of us total. Everyone was from different parts of America which was honestly an experience in itself. Due to covid restrictions, we really weren’t able to branch out of each other at first as we would have to make reservations for almost everywhere we went. Covid restrictions did eventually get lifted in regard to social scenes; however, by that point we were all really close and it was too late to form individual friendships.
I went into my office for my internship Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm for the 8 weeks that I was there. Along with the work hours, we would have assignments to complete about the internship for our coursework. The coursework wasn’t too hard to manage, but it did make exploring a little exhausting. Every weekend, we would go see sights such as the Tower of London and Kensington Palace or see neighborhoods like Notting Hill and Canary Wharf. One fun fact I did learn while in London is that Wharf stands for Warehouse at the River Front. Pubs are very popular in the UK, and we would often get drinks at local pubs around our area after work. Eventually we had begun frequenting this one pub where we became familiar with the owner, some other regulars, and the bartenders. It was always an interesting time because everyone was from different places around the world.
My internship itself was also a really cool experience. Fashion Crossover London is a PR Marketing agency for designers both freshly graduated or up and coming. While I was there, I helped one of the PR managers with reach outs where I gathered around 1,500 names and emailed or messaged them about the talent program that the company has. We would market their graduation collection in a showroom (I was also in charge of that during my time there) to stylists for magazine shoots, music videos, or red carpet looks. One of my favorite moments was writing interview questions for our designers to answer that would be published in Harper’s Bazaar UK magazine. After work on Thursdays, my supervisor would take us out for dinner and drinks by the Thames. I loved this part of the internship as I really got to make connections and form relationships with them. They would often ask me questions about America, and I really got to learn about their culture. I was exposed to Chinese culture pretty heavily in the work-place as that was where the owners were from while still getting exposed to UK culture.
Funny enough, when coming to the UK there was a lot of preparation on what we would experience while abroad. As expected, I was questioned a lot about American politics quite a bit and did oddly face some controversy simply by being from the South. I never expected so many questions or assumptions to be placed upon me for being from the South, yet I faced that with both the locals and the other Americans. Another small yet noticeable difference was that light switches are typically on the outside of rooms, especially in the bathrooms. There were also no electricity outlets in the bathroom.
Overall, I would love to go to London again one day. It was an amazing experience; however, I would have loved to travel more around Europe. I recommend to anyone that wants to go abroad to do it as I feel like I became more independent, more confident, and have more of an open mind to the rest of the world.
Ansley Barber (Marketing) spent summer 2021 interning abroad in London, England through CIEE. Ansley had the following to say about studying abroad, “Study abroad alone really made me come out of my shell and become more confident. It is a great way to get to really travel and see the world. You will meet so many people who are have different backgrounds, and it makes the most interesting conversations.”
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