Alumni Spotlight: Erin Sastre


Erin is a senior at the University of Missouri studying Journalism and Spanish. She loves writing, traveling and anything having to do with movies.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because it offered me the most, considering what I wanted to pursue. I knew I wanted to participate in a program that also had an internship aspect because I wanted a professional experience. I also wanted the program to be based in a major global city where I could learn and experience as much as possible culturally. The London program fit all of those criteria.

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

CAPA, the program provider, and my home university assisted in all of the necessary preparations. I was given many resources about funding my semester abroad, interviewing for an internship and so much more. There wasn't really much that I had to organize on my own as both CAPA and the university were very involved in the entire process and program.

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

One thing I would say about studying abroad, especially if the program is in a large city like London, is that it can be expensive. I budgeted before my trip to get a rough idea of what I would spend during my time overseas, but things change and you can't plan for everything. I would just say to think realistically about the entirety of your time abroad and take what you want to do or where you want to travel to in account.

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

My program was specialized because of a partnership with my home university, so other participants' weeks may look a little different. But for me, an average week as a participant in this program was very exciting!

Each participant was required to work 20 hours a week at their internship and the days you work vary. For me, I worked Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then had classes on Tuesday and Thursday. These classes were also very interesting and there were a lot of site visits.

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 of studying abroad was not connecting with fellow program participants. Going abroad when you don't know people prior can be hard. It's a little like freshman year all over again where you get a roommate and meet all of the people living on your floor. I had to get out of my comfort zone a bit, but once I did, I ended up making some of the best friends I could ever ask for.

What was your favorite experience while studying abroad?

One of my favorite things about being abroad was that, because I studied in London, I was able to experience so many cultural events.

I was able to attend the Vault festival which showcased fringe art, music, theatre and more. I was also able to participate in site visits to Stonehenge, Brick Lane, Brighton, and Oxford.