I chose this program because I always wanted to study abroad in London. I grew up with a red telephone booth in my house since I was a kid, and my favorite Disney Channel character was London Tipton! It was only natural that that was the city I was eventually going to study in! And they speak English, so like, yeah.
Zachary is a very friendly, outgoing, adventurous, spontaneous and ambitious person. He grew up in Long Island, New York, but recently moved to Los Angeles in August this year, to pursue a career in entertainment!
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My college advisor, Professor Mann, told me about the program and connected me with the man in charge of the program, Brian. It was then up to me to make sure that the courses I was taking abroad would transfer over to my university. The program also handled the travel and living arrangements, while it was my job to plan a few fun getaways to places like Portugal and Amsterdam on the weekend!
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I would say, make the most of it. A huge part of "study abroad" is obviously studying, but the other half is abroad. Take advantage of learning about the culture of each country and city you visit. Try new foods. Be open to meeting new people you meet, EVERYWHERE you go.
Be open to new experiences. This is supposed to be fun!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
An average day Monday-Thursday at Wroxton college is staying at the abbey, going from class to lunch to class to dinner, and then studying and playing games at night in the Abbey.
A typical weekend would either be participating in the trips they have planned for that weekend, which is usually in England; they did take us to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Paris! Or you can have the option of making your own arrangements and taking a trip somewhere you have never been to!
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear was actually traveling to places alone. Eating alone, staying in a hostel by myself. However, when travel break came around and I had plans to meet my dad in Barcelona, I had no choice, but to go to the airport alone and fly to Spain by myself to meet my dad.
A few weeks later, when I overheard a bunch of the kids on my trip were going to Amsterdam and I wasn't invited, I wanted to take matters into my own hands. I already knew I could get to the airport and fly by myself and I knew I really wanted to make it to Amsterdam during my time abroad, so I decided to book a flight and hostel and go by myself. There wasn't a lot of time left in the program and I wasn't going to rely on an invitation to Amsterdam to go, so I went myself, and I met people, tried new foods and had a great f******n time.
Is it hard adapting to a new life, being away from your family and friends for so long?
Yes. But, you get through it. And you realize that it is an amazing opportunity to study abroad and live in a new country for 4 months.
How often in life do you actually get to do that? For most people, once, maybe twice. Take advantage of your experience and use it as a chance to learn and grow as a person. My abroad experience was one of the hardest but, most rewarding experiences I have ever done, and I went through UP'S and DOWN'S, but learned valuable lessons about who I am, and gained independence that I never knew I had in me.