Alumni Spotlight: Ellie Telander


Ellie is a senior at the University of Missouri. She is studying Journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication/public relations. She studied abroad in spring 2018 where she did a custom internship program with CAPA in London.

Why did you choose this program?

I always knew I wanted to study abroad, even before I began college. After seeing that there was an option to study abroad as well as intern at the same time, I was set on this program. The ability to get both experiences in one semester was a dream come true for me as getting an internship was also very important to me.

I chose London because it seemed like an easy place to live in as they speak English and that meant there wouldn't be a language barrier. I also wanted to intern in Fashion, and London was a great hub for fashion companies.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

CAPA, my program provider, as well as my university, assisted me throughout the entire process. Of course, there is work and forms you have to fill out yourself, but they were there for me if I needed support on any of the processes. They helped with preparing us for departure and what to pack, etc. They also were there for us to help with Visa applications and logistics like that. Along the way, they were there to help anything I needed. They took care of our living arrangements and they also transported us from the airport to our housing once we arrived in London.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Just GO! It can be intimidating once all the forms and applications start happening, but don't let that shy you away. This will be an absolute highlight of your life and something you will never forget!! So stick it out and keep going on with the process - it all pays off! Once you've officially decided you're going and all your paperwork is filled out, it's time for the fun stuff. Although packing and preparing is an exciting time, it can be stressful and overwhelming to know what to bring and what not to bring. So, here's some tips that I wish I knew before I left.

Pack only things that you wear OFTEN!! I brought so many pieces of clothing that I told myself I "might" wear. And those pieces sat in my closet and took up space the entire semester. Although you may think that you will wear different outfits all the time, in reality you will end up repeating the same 5 pieces of clothing over and over. Trust me.

Here are the essential clothing items for living and working in London: It's pretty cold in London for the first few months you're there, so you will be wearing a sweater, jeans and a jacket most days! So, if anything, have some good neutral colored sweaters that you can wear a lot of different ways. Also, have a good coat/jacket that you can wear everyday, because you will wear it everyday.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Below is what an average week looked like for me on this program.

  • Monday: Intern for a full day (9am-5:30pm).
  • Tuesday: Intern for half day (9am-12:30pm), go to class for second half of day (2pm-5pm, depends on the day of when we would end).
  • Wednesday: Intern for a full day (9am-5:30pm),
  • Thursday: Class from 1:30pm-4:30pm, depends on the day of when we would end).
  • Friday-Sunday: travel wherever we wanted!

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 nervous about my internship and what it would be like, if I would fit in, etc. I was SO pleasantly surprised with my placement! It was exactly what I had hoped for and the people at my internship were lovely. They welcomed me with open arms and were so helpful in helping me assimilate into living in London and working in a new environment. I would tell anyone that is nervous about this to know that THEY want you to be there just as much as you want to be there! So be excited that you are wanted and confident that you will do a good job because they believe the same.

What are the living arrangements like?

CAPA does such a good job with housing and the locations are great!! So CAPA has housing all over London in different areas. As far as the different buildings go, I’m not sure how the others are, but I’m sure they are very similar to the one I lived in! I only heard good things from my friends who were in other buildings! All the apartments are located in zones 1 and 2, which is AWESOME location, like heart of the city!

My flat was located in Maida Vale / Clifton Gardens and I loved it!! It was great location and the neighborhood was very upscale: we were living next to like million dollar places! (ours wasn’t that nice of course, haha) but it was a cute little area and felt very safe. I lived with 3 other girls who I knew previously to coming to London, so I was lucky in that I knew my roommates decently well before moving in together! There were two rooms in the flat, so we had 2 girls in each room; we had twin beds, one bathroom that we all shared, and then the upstairs we had a living room with a TV, couches, dining table, sink, fridge, stove, oven and washer.