By Stacey Milton
Welcome to our first installment of a series on studying abroad. Through this week and next we will be introducing you to several BU students who studied overseas last semester, as well as showcasing some interesting and unique study abroad opportunities available here at Boston University.
Cheers! My name is Hannah, and I am a junior in BU’s College of Communication, majoring in Public Relations, with a minor in women, gender and sexuality studies.
Many of you reading this are contemplating a pretty important transition: the move from high school to college. This past September I made a big move myself, from Boston, Massachusetts, to London, England. I spent the past Fall semester studying, exploring, and interning in one of the most metropolitan, international cities in the world.
Spending a semester in London was an amazing opportunity! Field trips took on a whole new meaning when my entire history class went to the center of London to walk in the steps of the suffragettes who campaigned for women’s right to vote outside of Parliament. My Literature of Shakespeare class took advantage of our phenomenal location and visited the Globe Theater for an acting workshop.
One of the best parts of my semester abroad, and one of the main reasons I chose to study in London, was the opportunity to intern at a public relations agency. For the last two thirds of the semester I spent four days a week working at one of the largest PR agencies in the world: Weber Shandwick. Through this experience I learned a few things. First, English people do actually drink a lot of tea, and often make tea for each other as a gesture of kindness. I also learned that they swear a lot more than American’s (the accents might sound posh — but English people can also be incredibly crude!).
Beyond my anthropological observations regarding the English people, I learned a lot about my chosen profession – public relations. I was given real work to do as an intern in the the branded content division, pursuing different opportunities that brought brands and films or TV shows together. Part of my job was even watching the TV shows (on fast forward) to monitor how often our client’s products were featured on screen. I also had the chance to write a business proposal which was sent to various major corporations, asking them to consider sponsoring the production of a feature film.
My semester in London wasn’t solely spent behind a desk. A typical weekend meant heading to one of London’s numerous markets to shop followed by a cheap curry lunch and a trip to a museum (many of the museum’s in London are free!), and later enjoying a pint of cider in a local pub. Although, I’d say it’s hard to call any weekend abroad “typical.” More often than not you could find me grabbing a plane to Barcelona, Dublin, or Brussels — just a few of the cities I had a chance to visit! I’ve relaxed in the thermal baths of Budapest and eaten pizza in the center of Rome. I’ve visited DaVinci’s Mona Lisa in Paris and Picasso’s Guernica in Madrid. Traveling in Europe exposed me to so many different places, people, and cultures, and I tried my best to to take full advantage of the small window of time overseas.
My semester in London was one of the most challenging, rewarding, and enriching periods of my life. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to pursue some of the things I love doing, which I now know to be traveling as well as working within the PR industry. While BU may be my home away from home I think London will have a soft spot in my heart from now on as well.
Hannah is a Junior in the College of Communication majoring in public relations and minoring in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Originally from Ambler, PA (a suburb of Philadelphia), Hannah is involved with the Community Service Center and the Public Relations Student Society of America. She’s also a huge fan of brunch and most trashy television shows. Feel free to email her with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to learn more about Hannah’s experiences abroad, check out her blog, where she chronicled her entire semester.