Alumni Spotlight: Allison Scott


Allison is originally from Dallas, Texas. She attends The University of Texas at Austin and is currently a Junior. She is 20 years old and is a full time student pursuing her degree in Social Work.

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

Allison: I didn't know before going to London that they have the best Indian food. I had actually never tried Indian food. So on one of our first nights we had curry provided by Arcadia and after trying it,I proceeded to have Indian food whenever possible. My favorite was chicken tikka masala at the pub down the road, but Brick Lane is also really famous for their Indian food. Also, pretty much any pub food is going to be delicious, but here's a tip you have to order at the bar or you will never get served!

Why did you decide to go abroad with your provider?

Allison: When looking to go abroad in college I always knew I would want to study somewhere in England, so I started looking at programs in the UK. After meeting with the study abroad staff at my school they encouraged me to look at the Arcadia Internship Program. I could take some of my required courses through the Arcadia Center, but would also be able to participate in a valuable internship experience.

I found out that I could just fill out what type of internship I would prefer and the school would find an internship for me, so I wouldn't have the hassle of trying to apply for things while still in America. When looking at all the programs, the Arcadia Internship Program allowed for interesting course work, living in the diverse city of London, and job experience in my field of interest. These are the reasons I ultimately decided to do my semester abroad with this program.

Do you think your program changed you as a person?

Allison: I feel completely changed after having this abroad experience. I went form a person who had never been more than 3 hours from home for an extended period of time to ultimately wanting to move back to London. I made incredible contacts through my internship and got a chance to experience life in a different environment. Because of my study abroad, I have decided to look at graduate programs overseas, but also made a promise to myself that I would live in London again.

I was able to thrive in a completely new setting which has given me to confidence to take on any challenge. Also, my internship made it clear to me that I am pursuing the right profession because I loved to work I had to opportunity to do at a school in a children's hospital. I feel that this experience really helped me grow and taught me incredible lessons I can now use when thinking about my future.

What is one piece of advice you'd give future students traveling with your program?

Allison: Try everything. If any opportunity is given to you whether its to see a show or take a day trip make the most of the time you have. Even though I was abroad for 4 months I still feel like I didn't do everything I could have. You may think you have all the time in the world but it goes by in the blink of an eye.

So study hard but make sure you really experience living in London. If you have to study, go to a library or a coffee shop. If its a nice day go to Primrose Hill or Regents Park. If you have a night free go see a west end show or grab drinks with friends. I promise you, you will never think you did too much.

If I could go back I would take better advantage of the city and what it has to offer. Also, go on as many of the outings Arcadia offers as you can. I promise at least someone you know will be there and if not you get the opportunity to hang out with other people in the program you might not have otherwise.