August 23rd 2016: London Expectations!
I’m currently sitting on the train to London as I write this blogpost, since I just departed from my brief vacation Le Marais, Paris. I was only in Paris for 5 days or so and already it turned out to be the best time of my life, which only makes me more excited to have the opportunity to stay in London for over 3 weeks. I can’t imagine how familiar I’ll become with the area around me in London after 3 weeks of living there, and I fully expect to have a favorite café, dessert shop, or even grocery store by the end of the term. It seems a little trivial, but one of my worries about London as a big foodie is that I won’t be able to find a type of food I like. However, food is but a small part of any experience and I’m still excited to have this opportunity. Overall, I expect the exploration seminar to be professionally and socially rewarding and I’m determined to make it one of the best experiences of my life.
An integral part of this program is the people: those residing in London, those on the study abroad with me, those we’ll meet during company visits, and more. After hearing from people who have been on this exploration seminar and also briefly meeting the other program participants, I’m confident that the people will be the best part of this program. Within the program participants, we’ll develop our own little culture, favorite things to do as a group, and we’ll undoubtedly get to know each other quite well after being in a foreign country together for nearly a month. As a recent Foster admit, I’m hoping to remain friends with fellow participants even after the program has ended, and I’m sure that will happen. As for those who permanently live in London, they’ll help expand my understanding of the world, strengthen my ability to work with people of different backgrounds, and teach me to not make assumptions about how the world functions.
I hung around in London for a day or so during the intermission between my flight and my train to Paris, and already I noticed that there are many small differences between London and American lives, which means that this is also true in the business technology sector. Thus, professionally, I expect to learn a lot about not only the intricacies of business in the UK, but also how the UK and US economies work together to continuously encourage innovation and growth. Learning about how the international business works I think is crucial for a business career these days, as everything is so well connected and competition is fierce. I’ve taken quite a few political science classes before and also learned about business law, and to be completely honest, I’m still not even close to fully understanding business law in the United States. What I do understand is that business law is already scary complicated within a single country, piecing together how business regulations work across countries makes it exponentially more complicated, but that’s also why this exploration seminar is going to be useful. We have the unique opportunity as undergraduate students to see a business setting of real adults in a foreign workplace, and I’m quite eager to learn from their experiences.
In summary: this study abroad is going to be awesome!