Why did you decide to study abroad with CCA in London, England?
Sahara: I chose to study abroad with the Central College Abroad (CCA) London program because it offered everything I could want and ask for as a Theatre major. At first, my main goal was to pick a place based on location and language, but then I began to think about a place that offered great history and theatre. London immediately came to my mind. Even though England is an English speaking country, I knew it was only a train ride away from other countries.
London itself is filled to the brim with diversity. Walking down the street you are bound to hear at least three languages being spoken. Learning about a new culture is also why I chose to come to London. There are a lot of differences between American and British culture. From the high tea time, English breakfast, behaviorisms, and everyday life you can really get a feel for the differences. The sights are really something to see in person as well.
My advisor let me know that I would be having a firsthand experience with the British culture and I have not been disappointed. A representative from CCA came to my University before I officially submitted my application and she actually went on the London program. Hearing her stories only made me more excited to start my own.
What has made this study abroad experience unique and special?
Sahara: There are so many moments that have made this study abroad experience unique and special. I guess the things that stick out furthest in my mind are the many festivals and people I have met. I say the festivals because there have been many to attend right in Central London.
I remember going to one with a friend in the program and doing an African-Caribbean dance workshop. While there we met some people from all over the world who were enjoying themselves. Our choreographer was energetic and fun. After we were done with that we walked outside and discovered a food festival with a wide variety of tasty treats.
While abroad, I have taken risk and gone to more social events that I see on posters than I would normally. This has proven to be an excellent way of meeting people. I have gotten the opportunity to meet British natives that are open to questions you have. They are also more than willing to sit down and have a chat about the differences you notice.
I am a poet as well as a student so one of the highlights of my time here in London was the National Day of Poetry where I got to meet other poets and hear their spoken word. I was amazed that this event was open to all people of all ages.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Sahara: This experience has made me want to travel all over the world. I now want to see more, do more, and experience more. I feel that it is great to experience different cultures and people. I have gained a better sense of direction as well as responsibility for the things that happen in my life. I am gaining courage in conversing with people in professional settings. There is something about being away from everything you know that helps you gain independence. I look forward to experiences like this one in the future.