Updated: Jul 10, 2020
One of the best parts about studying abroad in London, UK was going there with my friend Jessa. She and I met in my first class of sophomore year at the University of New Hampshire, where I had just transferred; we sat a few seats away from each other in that class and realized that not only were we now in the same sorority (I had just gotten my bid), we were both English majors. After becoming friends, I told her I was thinking of studying abroad in Australia. She told me she was looking into UNH’s London Program, which partners with Regent’s University London to give students an opportunity to earn 16 credits abroad. The more she told me about the program, the more I wanted to join in! We worked on our applications together and celebrated our acceptances together. The rest is history!
I wanted to hear about our semester abroad from her perspective, so I asked her some questions about our time in London. Come along for the ride!
HOH: Jessa, tell us a little about yourself!
JO: I am a wannabe writer and washed up dancer who loves Star Wars (Reylo is canon) and reading. Speaking of reading, I have a bookstagram (book Instagram) where I try to document the progress of my reading and talk about all things books, books, and more books.
HOH: Did you always know you wanted to study abroad, or did you figure it out once you were in college?
JO: Yes! I’ll be honest, when I was about 15, I fell in love with London because I was obsessed with One Direction. As I got older, it just made the most sense for me since I was an English major and all the incredible writers that I loved came from that place or were in that city at one point. I still love One Direction, though.
HOH: Tell us where you studied abroad (city, country) and why you decided to study there.
JO: I studied in London, England. I studied there because, like I said above, it just made sense for my major and I’d been infatuated with the city for years, so why not live there for a few months? It also helped that I already spoke the language.
HOH: Describe your favorite weekend in London. What did you do? What did you see?
JO: So I have two favorite weekends. One, was when we went as a group, all the UNH kids, on one of the big tourist busses to see the city our first weekend there and then we stopped after a river cruise on the Thames to go see Westminster Abbey because it’s one of my favorite historical landmarks, even before I had ever been there. To see it in person was incredible. And my second favorite weekend was seeing Harry Styles live in concert. I bought the tickets the night before and was able to go with one of my best friends that I’d met abroad. Seeing him in London was surreal and magical.
HOH: Did you ever get homesick? What did you do to combat that feeling?
JO: I did get homesick especially around Thanksgiving but I tried to keep myself busy with friends and things to do so I wouldn’t be thinking too much or dwelling in that feeling too much.
HOH: What was your favorite class that you took abroad? What made it so awesome?
JO: My favorite classes were the two art history classes that I took which were Renaissance Art in Society and 18th Century Art: Enlightenment to Impressionism. They were my favorites because I love art history, I minored in it, but also because we had all of our classes in the National Gallery and other museums so it was pretty incredible to be able to actually look at the piece of art in person that you’re studying. It really changes your perspective on it and makes it more interesting.
HOH: Favorite food you tried while abroad?
JO: A scotch egg. A hard boiled egg wrapped in a breaded sausage. Amazing. I want one right now.
HOH: Best trip you took while abroad?
JO: Each trip I took was amazing in its own right, but I think Ireland was one of the best because I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did so it was really unexpected to me how much I was enjoying it and didn’t want to leave the country.
HOH: What is one piece of advice you wish you had been given before leaving the U.S.?
JO: Don’t use RyanAir.
⬆️ (Would you all like to come along for the ride and hear this story in a separate blog post? Let me know!)
HOH: What is one thing people should know about London before traveling there?
JO: Make sure to stand on the right side of the escalator when you’re going to the Tube and to Mind the Gap!
HOH: Anything else you’d like to share about your time studying abroad?
JO: Get to know the people who are in your program or are at your school! Some of the people I met there have become lifelong friends of mine, as cheesy as that sounds. You can have such unique adventures with people and inside jokes and memories that you can only share with the people that you’re abroad with, so make friends!
I had so much fun hearing Jessa’s perspective on our semester abroad! Make sure you check out her bookstagram, @halfdesertedbooks! I hope you enjoyed the ride. x
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