Emily Ives

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Peace, War, and Defense (Major); Statistics (Minor):; Urban Studies and Planning (Minor)
Program: Kings College London (Direct Exchange)
Location: London, England
Email: egives@live.unc.edu
Term: Fall 2020


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I choose to study abroad because I wanted to experience of attending another international university. KCL was the ideal program for me because of the crossover between the War Studies Department and the PWAD major at UNC.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I am less dependent than I believed I was. When I wasn't in class, I was perfectly content exploring the city on my own and bouncing between various groups of friends both from KCL and UNC. In the past, I have always thought that I am the type of person who needs the solidity of one friend group. Through my time at KCL, I learned that this is not the case.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from the program was attending the football match between the English national team and Montenegro. I went to the match with a friend from UNC because watching an international game was on our bucket list. As it turns out, this game the the English team's 1000th game. It was incredible to be a part of such a celebrated tradition of European sport.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
I would advise future study abroad students to find as many ways to get involved with the school that they are attending as they can. Especially when on exchange at a school were many UNC students study abroad, it can be difficult to venture outside of the bubble of American students that you already know.


Would you do it again?
Yes. In fact, a part of me wishes I was still there now.


How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
As someone who studies international relations and national security, I have always been interested in a career with the Foreign Service or State Department. My experience abroad prepared me for the potential of a professional life in an unfamiliar foreign city.


How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
Many of my classes abroad were smaller than they would have been if I took them at UNC. This allowed me to interact more with my professors and experience a more hands on approach to learning. Due to the British style of specialization, many of my peers had taken most of their classes together throughout university and it was clear that student were more comfortable speaking up and taking part in class discussions.


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