Studying abroad had been a dream of mine since I was young. Since I was in 4th grade and met an exchange student from Germany that my neighbors were hosting. I have always loved traveling and learning about and experiencing new cultures. Once I got to college I knew I wanted to go abroad. When deciding where to go I did not give it much thought. I looked at the list of all the places I could go, made a list of about 13 different locations and discussed it with Laura Livermore. She suggested KEI in London and I went with it. That was the best decision I have ever made. London was the best place I could have chosen.
While being in London I met some of the most amazing people and friends and made memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The impact it had on my life was amazing. I gained confidence in myself, gained confidence in my work, confidence in my communication with others, and overall experiences. What really stood out to me about London was the people. Everyone there was so friendly and always willing to help if you needed it. They minded their own business and kept to themselves but if you needed help or just someone to talk to, they were always willing. If you were lost in the subway they would give you directions, if you were on the bus and talked to them they loved to have conversation, if you wanted to pet one of the countless dogs while walking around they would always let you. Little things like that made the whole experience so welcoming. I never felt like an outsider in London, they made me feel so accepted and welcomed.
Another thing that stood out was the people I met while there. I studied there with KEI and there was 7 other girls in my program and we all lived in the same dorm room together. I lived with people from all over the States, from Los Angeles to Dallas to Washington, D.C. In addition to meeting people from across the States, I met people from so many countries. London is such a diverse city that I met people from many places around the world. From Austria to Russia to New Zealand, I learned so many new things about different cultures and ways of life.
I loved staying in London because I was so close to the rest of Europe, just a cheap flight and a few hours of my time and I was somewhere new. I was able to see so many new places and experiences in so many countries around Europe. All of these experiences gave me amazing memories and an even deeper love for travel and for other cultures. Experiencing things I would never be able to in the states and meeting people I would never cross paths with here. From places like Stockholm, Sweden to Porto, Portugal, I was in love with every I went. However, with each place I visited, I became more and more thankful I chose London to study because of the hospitality and comfort there.
Jenna Elston (BA Communication) spent Spring 2022 studying abroad in London, England through KEI. Jenna had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad was the most amazing thing I have ever done. The experiences I had and memories I made were ones that I will never forget.”
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