About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Peace, War, and Defense ; Psychology
Program: Burch Criminal Justice 2022
Location: London, United Kingdom
Term: Summer 2022
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
Since starting at UNC, studying abroad had always been in my sights. I have enjoyed traveling all my life but had never been away from home for more than about two weeks. COVID-19 derailed a few initial plans but the words "Criminal Justice" caught my attention in January of 2022. With my PWAD and Psychology interests being seemingly niche, I thought it would be difficult to find a program with a good fit. However, after reading the description this program combined both my STEM and criminal interests, and ended up exposing me to a new field that I loved.
What did you learn about yourself?
Studying abroad quickly taught me that so much will come to an individual if you open yourself to new things. I tend to play it safe when it comes to pushing my own boundaries, but being in a new country quickly challenged this. It pushed me to be open to new lifestyles, people, food, experiences, and culture. Six weeks flew by, but even more importantly taught me that you don't have to be across the world to take risks or be open to new things. Carrying this with me back at Carolina is already rewarding me with new and exciting experiences.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memory from my program was standing on top of mount Jungfrau in Switzerland. Breathtaking was an understatement as I stared at the picturesque mountains and saturated rivers. My roommate Emma and I had just met each other a few weeks prior, but quickly decided that we would conquer Europe. After multiple trains, a few hours of sleep, and Pret coffee running through our veins we made it to the the Alps! It is truly a moment I will take with me forever, and even more rewarding than the views was discovering the best travel partner and a new friendship.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Going abroad does not have to be all about the high-thrill, sightseeing adventures, 24/7. Of course these are incredibly exciting, and you will experience them but one thing that helped me abroad was still maintaining a routine! I added things into my days that I would normally do at home to add a sense of normalcy. I ran though a few of the beautiful parks in London, read books at my kitchen table, and took long walks with my roommate around the city. Life abroad can be unpredictable, but if things feel overwhelming, taking some time to do everyday things you love can go a long way.