#StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

by Heather Robinette / Feb 19, 2015 /
Heather Robinette's picture

During the summer of 2011, I studied abroad for six weeks in London at the University of Westminster with Academics Programs International. I graduated from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I currently work as a marketing analyst for a small company in central Texas. I am also pursuing my MBA. While I was abroad in London, I was able to create many unforgettable memories that I will never forget! My study abroad experience helped me gain various skills, but above all else, it helped me to learn more about myself and the world around me. 

 

Heather Robinette in London - #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

What motivated your decision to go abroad? How/why did you choose where to go?

I studied abroad between my sophomore and junior year, but I made the decision to study abroad at the beginning of my freshman year. During middle school and high school I traveled on a few trips with People to People where I was able to meet other people my age from around the world. It sparked my interest and helped open my eyes to the fact that the world was bigger than just me. During my sophomore year I spent several months researching different locations and what they offered and finally decided on London because of the classes that would transfer back and the history I could experience while I was abroad.

 

University of Westminster. #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

Heather Robinette at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium. #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

What was your experience like? What is your favorite memory? What were some challenges you observed?

My experience was unforgettable and one that will always stay with me. Almost four years later and I can still vividly remember places like I just got back yesterday. I gained skills that have helped me in my job and in life. My favorite memory was the weekend trip to Wales where we got to visit a coal mine and a castle. The coal mine provided coal for the Titanic! While I was abroad, some of the challenges were learning how to adapt to traveling around, food, and the exchange rate. When you study abroad you quickly learn the things in life you take for granted and how to adapt to a new lifestyle.   

 

The coal mine that provided coal for the Titanic! #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

At Buckingham Palace. #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

Buckingham Palace Cafe! #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

What skills did you develop from your experience? Do you feel changed from your experience abroad?

The skills I developed from my study abroad experience were becoming more independent, better understanding people from different backgrounds, expanding my comfort zone, confidence, and flexibility. I feel like my experience has changed me in a positive way and has helped me become a better, well rounded person. I look at the world differently and pay more attention to world events and not just local events. I also approach every day life situations differently. I always try to take other people into consideration and the difference in our backgrounds.

 

The London Eye. #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

Has your experience helped you get to where you are today?

My experience has been a big part of what has shaped me into the person I am today. I've been able to use the skills I developed at work, in school, and in life to work in teams, move two states away after graduation, and the confidence to do things outside of my comfort zone. Studying abroad provides each student a unique opportunity to develop skills they wouldn't have the chance to do other wise as a college student. 

 

Mind the Gap! #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

What advice would you share with other students who are thinking of going abroad?

The advice I would give students thinking about going abroad is to take the opportunity because there is nothing else like it.

While you are abroad, try to see and experience everything you can while you are there.

Make sure you plan your finances according to how long you will be there, keep the exchange rate in mind.

There are usually study abroad scholarships you can apply for and I would highly recommend applying for them.

I would pack some comfort food to help with your transition as well, because food isn't something you think about until you get there. Having food you know can help as you learn how to grocery shop and discover local restaurants.

Before you leave, make sure you create a communication plan with your family. Every Wednesday afternoon I Skyped with my family to catch up.

I kept a blog during my time abroad, which was effective in sharing my experiences with a larger number of people and not spending too much time sitting in my room.

Everyone is different, but having a plan in place before you leave helps set the expectations for everyone.

 

Sherlock Holmes Museum. #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

How has international education impacted or influenced your cultural identity?

International education influenced my cultural identity because it helped me to look at how I perceived myself and what identities I associated with before studying abroad and after returning. While I was abroad I noticed a shift in identities since everything around me was different. It's a unique experience and it truly helps you to better understand yourself.   

 

Heather Robinette at Stonehenge. #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

Churchill's War Rooms. #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

If given the chance I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. If money wasn't a factor, I would have studied abroad multiple in different countries. Looking back on my college experience, studying abroad was a large part of it and I would recommend studying abroad to everyone because it really does provide an unforgettable life experience that will stay with you forever.

 

The Ice Bar.  #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

Heather Robinette at the Ice Bar, London. #StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

#StudyAbroadBecause the world awaits you

 

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Heather Robinette