From May to July 2014, I was able to spend eight weeks in London with some of my best friends from the IU Journalism program in the Media School.
I did things that the 17-year-old me could only imagine when I first learned about the program upon being admitted to IU in August 2011.
During the week, I interned as a consumer public relations intern at Bell Pottinger, the largest public relations agency in the U.K. I got to work with international accounts such as Volvo in addition to local accounts such as The Grown Up Chocolate Company and Wickes.
On Fridays, I attended a class at the Anglo Educational Services office taught by Jeffrey Kofman, a London-based correspondent for ABC News. He introduced us to a slew of international reporters, each speaking about their experiences in their respective countries. We took several field trips to famous media outlets such as the BBC Broadcasting House and The Guardian.
On the weekends, I fully embraced my sense of wanderlust and traveled anywhere I could. I went to Glasgow, Scotland; Paris; and Belfast, Ireland. There were only about two weekends I actually stayed in England, and even those weekends were full of traveling to Dover, Bath, Laycock and Oxford.
I also embraced the local culture. I drank espresso at the Cafe Nero, I ate my £3 lunch at Pret a Manger, and I grabbed a donut at Costa Coffee.
Over the course of my two months in London, I learned how to become a native in a foreign country. I learned about the U.K. social and work culture, how to navigate the Tube, and how to prepare meals with U.K. food. I believe I had the hardest time adjusting to the food because there are no preservatives in them, so things like bread would immediately mold the next day. I had to strategically pick and choose when to go to the grocery store.
This trip expanded my views on a global scale. I learned how international business, relationships and media work together. This experience reinforced my opinion of the world on a scale that is becoming more and more globalized each day.
I’m very thankful for being able to experience a country like England, and I can’t wait to go back again.
Editor’s note: Applications for the 2016 Summer in London program are now being accepted. All application materials are due by Nov. 13. Visit the Summer in London webpage to learn more.