Marisa is originally from Stamford, Connecticut and wishes to pursue a career within a global firm that highlights her passion for writing, media, and brand development. As of May 2018, she will have a BA in Communications with minors in Advertising and Psychology from the University of Tampa.
Why did you choose this program?
I chose this program because it fulfilled three requirements I outlined for myself: close proximity to central London, the flexibility to take courses in multiple departments, and the opportunity to stay a full academic year.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My program provider served as a mediator between me and Queen Mary. For the most part, I acted independently, especially once in London.
Since it was direct enrollment, I wanted to immerse myself as much as possible and not rely on outside sources. However, I always felt that IES was there if I needed assistance.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Take charge of your own academics and excursions. You are better off setting the stage for your abroad experience rather than relying on others or expecting things to simply happen.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
For me, there was no average day or week. Class time is very limited, so I had the freedom to travel around both England and other countries as long as I brought my laptop and reading material.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I was actually most nervous going into my second semester because I was the only student staying the full year. I was afraid I wouldn't have any friends to travel with.
I made a decision the first week back to reach out to all the new IES Abroad students, which worked out perfectly. The second semester ended up being significantly more fun than the first.
Did you make British friends?
Yes, but it takes more effort and they aren't looking to travel around the same way study abroad students are. Since QMUL is a three-year program, people our age are mostly in their second or third year. They have responsibilities and work much like students at our home universities. If you want to form friendships with the locals, which I encourage, you'll need to make the first move and put yourself out there.