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Abigale Speight

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Public Relations
Program: London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins
Location: London, United Kingdom
Term: Fall 2018- Spring / Summer 2019


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study Public Relations for Fashion and Fashion Journalism at two universities that hold a global precedence within these industries. London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins had professors and classes that were unique and not offered at Chapel Hill which offered an experience I felt I was not able to get anywhere else. I applied to have this program approved and was the first UNC student to attend these universities which allowed me to gain an out of the box perspective on studying abroad and the schooling offered overseas.


What did you learn about yourself?
Being the only UNC student on my program, I learned how to put myself out in a world independently and work to find a community no matter where I was in this world. I learned that I am capable of challenging the norm and that regardless of how far fetched an idea seems or unlikely it seems you get accepted for a job or internship- you just have to put your heart on the line and work your hardest because what is meant to happen will happen.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memory from my entire year was the moment I found out I got into Central Saint Martins. I had originally intended on studying in London for just a semester but had fallen in love with the education I was receiving, the challenge of living alone and the culture I was fully immersing myself in. As my time to return home started to come closer I felt deep down that my time was not yet over- I was encouraged to apply for the Fashion Journalism program at Central Saint Martins as an integrated student which meant I would be immersed as a full time student for the spring and summer term. This was a highly competitive program so I submitted my portfolio with only the small hope I would be accepted. Through the study abroad program at London College of Fashion we spent a week in Paris with the course leaders and other students, I will forever hold with me the feeling of opening the decision email being surrounded by my new group of friends in Paris and the overwhelming since of accomplishment and gratitude I felt. I was able to spend the rest of the school year and summer in London working and studying with like minded people that inspired me.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
The advice I personally have to give is that if none of the UNC programs call to you, do not feel discouraged from doing your own research to see what other programs or schools offer. There is a world of opportunity begging to be explored. The study abroad office and advisors ae extremely useful in helping you apply to have a program approved and get the credits transferred! Wherever you end up studying, take advantage of the access to travel and other parts of the world and travel as much as possible. Be okay with being afraid and asking for help and make the most of every minute.


Would you do it again?
I would absolutely study abroad again and highly recommend it to other students. I hope to live in London again later on in life.


How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
This entire experience gave me an opportunity to study under industry professionals that helped find work experience and internship placements while I was studying. I was able to get a work visa which allowed me to intern for both Spring and Fall London Fashion Week for PR firms. I made a connection with one of my professors who later helped me work with Tommy Hilfiger’s wife to re-brand her website. I was in an environment that bred creativity and out of the box thinking that provided job experience I would have previously not known existed if I hadn’t been studying abroad. While abroad I continued to stay active in my role at UNC’s Coulture Magazine and was able to get an article published while in London. I feel confident in my ability to get employed later in life in this field.