Kate: Three Tips to Picking Classes Abroad

I cannot believe I am finally in London! After a six month long countdown, I finally made it over The Pond and have been living the abroad life for the past 10 days. So far it has been everything I had hoped for and more and I am so excited to everything to come. In fact, I just booked my fall break to, wait for it… ITALY! Five days of eating pizza, drinking wine and sight seeing until I can’t walk anymore is just a mere four weeks away (I’ll be sure to catch all of you up on that in my next post)!

However, study abroad is not all about traveling the world, there are courses involved too. So here are my tips to getting the most out of your classroom experience:

Find the Program you will get the most out of. You don’t necessarily have to do the same program as your major. Do something that interests you or that you have always wanted to try because that is what your core class will be in and the field in which you will do your internship. For me, I live and breath PR so that decision was a no-brainer. However, I know a fellow COM student who is majoring in Journalism, however he chose to do the Pre-Law program because he has aspirations of attending law school when he graduates. The Study Abroad office offers hundreds of options (there are at least 15 just in London!) so you will definitely something that works for you.

2. Take one class that takes care of a requirement. Whether it be a liberal arts requirement or a class towards your minor, find something will check another class off your list. All your major specific classes must be taken at BU so don’t spend all your time taking electives here and then stress about getting all your requirements done in Boston. There are a lot of options for CAS courses and you will easily be able to fulfill at least one required course.

3. Take something fun! Again, as someone who dreams about PR in her sleep, I took a COM-related course for this one. Its called International Brand Management and I am literally jumping out of my pants excited. BUT, my best friend is taking a British Pop Culture class. Hello, Beatles! Also, every class in the London program has at least one field trip (and I am sure this applies to other locations too) so a fun class equals an interesting field trip!

The first word in Study Abroad is study so make sure to work hard in your classes and get good grades. But, have fun and learn a lot because most people will never have this experience again. I have already learned so much about British culture and daily life from my professors (who also happen to have fantastic accents). And if I have any other advice it is to STUDY ABROAD. Go. Do it. I’ve been here a week and I already never want to leave.

 

I’ll be sure to update y’all later in the semester (be sure to follow me on The Twitter @KateScott10) and I hope you are loving BU so far!

Cheers!

 

Kate: Tips for Tackling the Study Abroad Application

Kate Image

This semester, I began the grueling process of applying to a study abroad program.  When I was on the college hunt, I realized that studying abroad opportunities was a must where ever I ended up.  And I definitely picked the right place for that.  BU has programs all over the world doing any types of program you could think of.  A girl in my sorority just got back from a Creative Writing Trip to Greece.  My other friend spent a semester at sea.  My plan: London Internship Program for Fall 2012.

The following are a few tips I have for those beginning the application process and how to make sure you get accepted to the program of your choice!

  1. Plan ahead. There a certain requirements to go on a study abroad program, especially ones that have an internship component (check out those requirements here).  Decide early what semester or summer you want to go abroad and plan your schedule accordingly.  There are no exceptions for the class or GPA requirements so make sure you’re all set when it comes time to apply.
  2. Get your recommendation letters. Most applications require 1-2 professor recommendations.  Contact your recommenders early.  It is not okay to expect them to finish it in a day so consider reaching out to them at least a month before the application is due.  Don’t be afraid to send them a reminder email if the deadline is closing in but don’t badger them.
  3. Apply early! This may be the most important piece of advice I have to offer you.  Applications and decisions are made on a rolling basis a.k.a. the sooner you get it in, the sooner you find out your decision.  I had one friend who turned the application in almost two months before it was due and heard back in 12 days (the usually time is about four weeks).  Also, many of the popular programs will fill up before the application deadline.  Procrastinating your application may lead to a rejection from your program of choice.

Once you’ve been accepted (congrats!), get all your forms and deposit payment in fast! Once you do that, you can select your housing and classes for your upcoming time abroad.  It is a very exciting time–remember these tips to make sure you have a semester you will never forget!

Check out the study abroad website for more information on abroad programs and to being your application!

Brittany: COM-portunities

Brittany

The last time you heard from me, I was interning at Chronicle on Boston’s WCVB Channel 5. I told you all what a great experience it was for me, but the best had yet to come. By the end of the summer, my hard work earned me the opportunity to be an associate producer for a segment of a show! I came up with my own story idea, organized, planned, made contacts, filled out paperwork, and accompanied the crew on the day of the shoot—all the responsibilities of a real (read: salaried) producer. The episode aired a few days after I left for school, and it was the best way I could have ended my time at the station.

After Chronicle, I started working for New England Sports Network (NESN) in the fall. I’m a Boston Bruins/Hockey East Studio Production intern—a position I’m convinced is the best job in Boston. When the Bruins are home, I ride along to the Garden, where I do one of many things—learn how to run tech equipment from the truck, stage manage the pre-, post-, and intermission reports from the in-house studio, or stage manage the color and play-by-play commentators from their booth. After the game, I usually run tapes of post-game interviews from the locker room to feed them back to the office. There’s a lot of running around the Garden, but there’s no place I’d rather be on game day.

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of work for Hockey East. I was the time out coordinator for the Frozen Fenway games (check out the picture that Dean Sabovik took off of the TV that day!), and I’ve put in countless hours working on Beanpot features in preparation for the tournament in February. My internship at NESN is so multifaceted, I never know what to expect as I walk in in the morning. COM has given me the preparation to handle whatever is expected of me at any given time, and complete the task at a professional level.

Last semester, I applied and got into a class going abroad to London this summer to cover the Olympics with COM. Come next year I will have graduated, and I’m so thankful that I will be able to cap out my three years at BU with such an amazing work experience. You can read more about it here: http://www.bu.edu/com/2011/12/13/students-tapped-to-cover-olympics-in-london/.

The point of my post is this—everything that I talked about truly is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Through COM, I’ve had opportunities and experiences that many college students can only dream of. I’m happy to answer any questions about internships that you might have, and I look forward to sharing my contacts with the next batch of COM students!

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Tiffany: Updates from the London Study Abroad Program

Tiffany Feng
Tiffany Feng

Happy summer everyone! Hope everyone is soaking up the sun and getting a nice tan.

Unfortunately, London isn’t too warm right now and the sun loves to play hide-and-seek with the clouds, while surprising everyone with a little rain here and there. But other than that, if studying abroad is of interest to you, I would definitely recommend it!

You will be surprised how much you will learn about other cultures, while also learning a lot about yourself. On one of the first days of class, my International Brand Management professor stated, “It is only after you’ve spent time abroad and are forced to not be American, will you truly understand what it means to be American because you will, again, be forced to realize and reflect on your values, customs, speech, media, and everything that used to seem so ordinary.”

I’ve only been here for 6 weeks and have already seen, learned, and experienced so much! For the past 6 weeks I took two courses, International Brand Management and European Marketing Strategies, and am just about to start the second half of the program where I will be interning at a fashion PR agency called Bryan Morel PR.

Other than coursework, I’ve been exploring London quite a bit and even traveled to Paris for a weekend (travelling within Europe is so cheap in comparison to what you would ever pay to travel from the States).

BU London is located in a really convenient area with lots to do right in our own borough of Kensington. It is in the most posh part of town, right down the street (literally a 2 minute walk) from Kensington Palace, past residence to Princess Diana, and where Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge have chosen as their London home. Right next to Kensington Palace is the gorgeous Hyde Park where you can paddle boat, ride bikes, go for a run, or just sit by the pond and watch the swans. We are also located right next to all the big museums like the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum that are all free admission!

There is seriously and endless amount of activities to do and places to visit throughout London. Some of my favorite places so far are Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, and Regent Street (really good shopping). Also for my fellow foodies out there, there are Portobello, Camden, Borough, and Greenwich Markets that are a foodies dream come true.

I really recommend looking into study abroad and if anybody has any questions about London in particular, I’d be happy to answer them or, pardon my shameless self-promotion, you can select me as your COM Ambassador!

Cheers from across the Atlantic!