About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Sport Administration and Communication Studies
Program: UNC International Sport Management
Location: London, United Kingdom
Term: Summer 2019
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose this program because of my desire to travel to London and the opportunities this program provides. It is a vibrant, diverse city that has a variety of cultural activities to engage in, amazing history on every corner, and native English speakers. I will get to tour historic sport venues, such as Wimbledon and English Premier League training grounds and network with professionals from amateur to professional sport organizations. The thought of being able to witness the place where Billie Jean King and Serena Williams won multiple Grand Slams excites me. I know that the city of London has a lot to offer me personally and academically. While in London, I want to grow as a person, student, and professional within the sport industry as well as discover things about myself that I did not know prior to the trip. This experience can teach me to become more independent, adapt and learn about different cultures around the world, and help improve my understanding of the global sport marketing industry. Ultimately, I want to be able to immerse myself in rich cultures outside what I am accustomed to. I also want the trip to be a memorable experience that teaches me about self-identity and the world beyond North Carolina.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned overall on a personal level was that I am capable of living in London. At first, I was skeptical about coming because many people told me that the food in London did not taste good and that everything is mainly expensive. This experience not only forced me to learn how to budget the money that I had but also forced me to cook for myself; when I was not cooking, I ate at different restaurants. Besides that, I learned that people in London do not value customer service like Americans. I found myself sometimes ready to walk out because workers were inconsiderate of my time, and they charged too much for the small portion sized food I received. I learned that Londoners enjoy sports and entertainment just as much as Americans. I went to a sports bar where they were showing the Europa League championship, and the atmosphere there reminded me of watching the NBA Finals series or the Super Bowl at home with family and friends. Furthermore, I learned that I am resourceful; I was able to overcome the difficulty of being away from home for three weeks internationally and adjust to life in London with little ease.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from my program was when my classmates and I learned how to play cricket at Lord's Cricket Ground. First, we were taught how to play, which were led by two instructors. After learning how to play, we were split into two teams and played against each other. This was my first time being introduced to the sport and learning how to play it.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
I would say apply, apply, and apply! There is so much to see besides life from where you are born and/or attend school at. Do not let your ethnic background nor finances be the reason why you do not apply because there are people and organizations willing to support you.
Would you do it again?
How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
This class, in particular, was longer than my usual 50-minute and 75-minute classes at UNC. Besides the length of time, the biggest difference was going on various excursions. We went to Lord's Cricket Grounds, Twickenham Stadium, Wimbledon, Arsenal playing arena, and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. During each excursion, we got to learn about the facility and sport organization's history.
How do you identify?
Student of color, Covenant Scholars, Rural County Resident