Life across the pond has been transformative. When you hear the words ‘Study Abroad’ don’t shove it off, instead embark on the experience.

 

1. The classes are extraordinary. Students are taught by spectacular instructors with a wealth of experience and credibility. Who ever thought 4-hour classes could be enjoyable?

+For my core journalism course students were granted the opportunity to visit the broadcast powerhouse for class.

 

2. The residential areas are phenomenal. To say the least, American posture and volume has undergone a transformation.

Oh, I live 15 minutes away from the royal family. #PrinceGeorge

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3. Tea time is the best time- happens everyday.

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For once you can enjoy life without constant Facebook usage or data consumption.

Lets be honest who really wants international charges.

 

4.  The theatre scene is surreal- you never know who you’ll run into. I purchased a ticket to see a production at Royal Court without prior knowledge of the cast.

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MET GARRY CARR #JackRoss FROM DOWNTON ABBEY!

5. Studying abroad offers a chance for students to immerse themselves in the culture of a foreign land, get lost, travel, eat yummy food, network, and create memorable moments that will last a lifetime. DO IT!

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Sad to leave London but excited to rejoin Terrier Nation!

 

Cheers,

Taylor

Follow me: @TaylorReports

Steph: Markets Galore

Since being abroad in London, I’ve come to find a bunch of differences between the US and the UK. For example, you should never tell someone that you like his or her pants if you want to avoid extreme embarrassment. Pants in the UK = underwear. Trousers = pants. Not saying that this comes from personal experience or anything…

One of the more fun, less embarrassing differences is that London is totally on their game when it comes to markets, and America should take note. Any given day of the week, especially Sunday, there are so many different markets in cool areas to explore. Here are a few you must check out if you ever make it across the pond!

Borough Market

Borough is probably one of my favorite places in all of London. Being as obsessed with food (and free samples) as I am, this place is heaven on earth. They have everything from the freshest produce, to fish, to cupcakes, to bread, to food stands, to mulled wine….My personal favorite is the Pie Minster food stand, where you can get any kind of traditional pie with mashed potatoes, mushy mint peas, and gravy on top that looks like this:

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Need I say more?

 Portobello Road

Portobello Road is an antiques market in the super cool area of Notting Hill. All the houses are colorful and you can get some really great leather goods if you don’t mind sifting through millions of piles. It’s always packed, but for good reason. There is always something fun to find.

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Brick Lane

While Brick Lane is mostly known for it’s multitude of delicious curry restaurants, the long street is also home to a flea market on Sundays! If you’re into vintage clothing, this is the market for you. There are tons of stands and shops to browse for authentic clothes from the 1950s, or just some old sweater from a Philadelphia Relay for Life for your hipster self (true story). A must is a stop at Brick Lane Beigel Bake (yes, its Bagels, but they spell it weird. Silly Brits!). I had one this morning with loads of cream cheese and it made me feel right at home

 

Cant believe I’ll be back in the States in exactly 20 days!! While I never ever want to leave England, I have to say that I am really looking forward to being back on Comm Ave. Until then, cheers!

Sara: Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad

I confess I have been a bit of one-track mind lately, and so I apologize for this gushing blog post in advance.  But, wherever you find yourself in your college career please do this one thing: make time to go abroad! I know it can be difficult to work in when there’s so many requirements to tackle but take it from someone who is overloading on credits for two semesters just to make it happen, its worth it.

The last six weeks I have found myself in London and I am completely in love.  So therefore, I present to you a totally buzz-feed style list of ten convincing reasons why you should go abroad (sorry for the lack of gifs illustrating exactly how you should feel).

1. Meeting New People-Not everyone from your program will be from BU necessarily and even if they are, chances are on a campus this big you’ve never even seen their face in a crowd before. There are loads of new people you might never have met otherwise. If you’re lucky enough they just might become your best friends.

2. Easy Travel– With inexpensive trains, planes and buses to take you to wherever your heart desires, it’s so easy to see other cities and countries while you’re abroad.

3. The Food– I personally believe the best way to get to know another culture is through your stomach, or maybe that’s just because I’m a foodie wannabe. But in all honestly, trying new foods has been one of my favorite parts of being abroad.

4. New Perspective– It’s easy to judge other cultures from afar but once you’re standing in the middle another country where you don’t speak their language, I guarantee any preconceived notions you might have had will be erased. And bonus, you’ll also probably gain a new love for your own home.

5. Personal Growth– It takes a lot of courage to put yourself in a completely unfamiliar environment for months but once you do it, you find yourself growing as a person in ways you never thought possible.

6. Getting a Break From Your Normal Routine– Because who wants to be on the same general schedule every day of their college career?

7. Unique Resume Boost– In some programs you get to intern while you’re abroad which is something not everyone can say they did and will definitely set your resume apart from other students in internship and job interviews.

8. The View–  From the top of anywhere, over any city- go on the London Eye, go to the top of the Duomo in Florence, climb up a hill to the castles in Lisbon and appreciate the view. No matter where you go, looking over an entire city is so captivating, its life changing.

9. TRAVEL- oh, I already mentioned this one? Well, I think it deserves to be mentioned again

10. Why not?– The best reason of them all. You’re young! What better time to see the world when college has already allowed you to perfect the balance of minimal sleep and maximum productivity.

 

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about going abroad or need any help with the application!

Cheers,

Sara

Jason: Madrid Retrospective

Yesterday, December 5th 2012, I officially finished my classes and my internship here in Madrid and I have 8 days left until I return to the states.

As I’m sure you will here from every person who has studied abroad this has been by far the best experience I have had in my life. I have learned so much at my internship; not only technical skills but also many aspects of the cinema industry in Spain, the United States, and around the world. All of the three classes I took here (Spain and the European Union, The History of Spain through documentaries, and Advance Spanish Language) are all on my list of favorite classes. These professors are some of the best in their field and I have never learned so much in a class before.

Madrid and the entire country–the food, the people, the culture,–are incredible. Above all, the opportunity to live with a family (There is no question I had the best family of the entire program) hanging out with my host brother and his friends, and watching my Spanish improve every day… it just could not have been better.

I’m extremely exited to get back to the states though to see my friends, family, and SNOW! (I’m going through skiing withdrawal) And I’m very excited for my classes next semester! I’ll be taking my first creative television producing, understanding of film, production 2, and advance french language (yup that’s 2 foreign languages for this kid)

Anyway, good luck with all of your exams, papers, etc., happy holidays, and go abroad!!

If you have any questions about the Madrid program, going abroad, etc. please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!!!

 

Tom: Take a Break from Boston… Go Abroad

Hello all! I am in the midst of writing this blog post while checking through my London Visa Application – so I figured this would be the ideal time to discuss my own “break” from Boston this upcoming spring. As I alluded to in an earlier blog post, I will be heading to London this upcoming spring with the BU Study Abroad Programme and will be taking part in the COM Internship Program.

After an incredibly exciting and fast paced semester of COM, Advertising and more and more theater, I knew I was ready to take a break from the Boston University Campus Scene. This is why I decided to apply for the London Programme.

I understand that there are a number of myths out there that may make you concerned about studying abroad. I’ve decided to take this blog post to combat those myths and again, encourage you to GO ABROAD!

Myth #1 – The Program is Too Expensive

Undoubtedly, studying and travelling abroad can get costly – especially when you have the opportunity to travel and experience all the sights around Europe. However, the great thing about the BU Abroad Program is that the program costs are not much different than a typical semester at BU. For me, all of my scholarship, grants and loans carried over to the London Program. I also managed to cut down the program costs by applying to be a Resident Assistant.

Myth #2 – I Won’t Be Able to Graduate On Time

Not true! This is Reason Number One Million why COM is the best. COM offers COM Internship Programs abroad in a number of locations (such as London, Paris, Madrid, Los Angeles, to name a few). While abroad, with this internship and some liberal arts classes – you can actually satisfy all of your requirements while travelling abroad. Plus, the internship is so worth it when looking for jobs after graduation.

Myth #3 – I Won’t Be Able to Handle the Culture Shock

Yes, there will be Culture Shock. I won’t lie and say there isn’t. But as someone who’s known many people who go abroad, the culture shock is actually the best part of studying abroad. While some people may be turned away by the idea of a new culture – use this experience as a way to broaden your horizons. The new things you’ll get to experience may pleasantly surprise you.

Long story short – go abroad! You won’t regret it. I’ll keep you updated next semester with all of my exciting London adventures, along with fellow COM Ambassadors – Dany, Julianna and Sarah!

Signing Out,

Tom

Jason: Madrid!

¡Hola! In case you haven´t been following COMlife, Kate and I are both abroad this semester so this blog is coming all the way from Madrid en España!

Normally my blogs are more or less stream of consciousness but I´ll try to organize this one a bit because I have a lot to say. Also sorry if my English sounds funny but I´m at my internship now and it´s sometimes hard to switch between 3 languages (English, Spanish, and French- because my supervisor is French so I speak with her in French from time to time)

So today marks my 13th day in Madrid- although I have to be honest, for both my friends and me, it feels like we´ve been here for much longer than that; all for the better of course. It´s crazy thinking about how much my Spanish has improved in barely two weeks; to the effect that I can understand almost everything. And although I don´t speak perfectly, I´ve got the confidence to try now and thats 50%!

I have three classes and one internship. My classes are Spain and the EU, Advance Spanish Language, and a documentary class. All of my professors are beyond incredible and are so passionate about what they teach. Of course my favorite class is the documentary class because it´s a mix of European/ Spanish history and sociology with technical documentary through out.

My internship is with Lopez- Li Films, located only one block away from the Instituto Internacinal where we take classes. It´s a documentary company of about 8 people and just happens to be one of the most well respected documentary production houses in Spain. I´ve been working here less than 10 days and I´ve already been working with Photoshop and After Effects on real projects for the company. Yesterday I got to help out with a set of interviews for a new documentary that the company is making about professional story tellers- actors who recount fables that have been passed down through out the generations. We heard from someone from Galacia, el Pais Basco, and Madrid- three places in Spain that speak very different languages. My official title was auxiliary camera man (I think.)

But yeah, everything has been going extremely well so far! I´ll post some photos from the interview below. If you guys have any questions about my experience so far feel free to send me an e-mail or a message on Facebook!

¨Ta logo!

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!

 

Julianna: My Journey to Israel

An Open Letter to My Fellow Travel-Hungry BU COM Kids

Shalom BU COM Class of 2016!

Quick re-cap of my summer away from BU: I returned to my summer office job for two months, cranked out a story a week for the college news section of NextGen Journal, got hooked on HBO’s The Newsroom, warmed up to the new cast members on the Real Housewives of New York City and prepared for my trip to Israel.

Now I am Stateside again after participating in the Anti-Defamation League’s Campus Leaders Mission to Israel with 17 other college students from across the country. It was a whirlwind eight days of touring and learning first-hand about Israel’s domestic issues, the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel’s relations with nations outside of the Middle East. I met journalists, political analysts, new immigrants at an absorption center, IDF soldiers, a world renown professor of Holocaust studies, university students, among others.

The mission to Israel was most definitely the best experience I’ve had in my 20 years of living. Dramatic? Totally. But, I really mean it. Since returning I’ve perused my 600+ photos countless times, daydreamed about zatar (the most delicious spice ever) on everything and reread my notes to further absorb everything that I learned. All this nostalgia and post-travel blues has me longing for another adventure. I want stamps on stamps on stamps in my passport book. I want more culture, another foreign language in my ears and new (or some more ancient) roads to conquer.

I know that I am one of many college students with an endless hunger for travel and adventure. If you find yourself with the very same desire, think about how that aligns with why you chose BU. Speaking for myself, I was completely won over by BU’s location in the heart of Boston. You’ll see that with living in Boston comes constant adventure, whether it be taking the T to the last stop of a particular line, exploring the quaint South End or meandering through the famers’ market at Haymarket. So get ready for the adventure that awaits you in Boston, and along your path to graduation you’re bound to make some stops in near and far places whether through educational or volunteer missions, study abroad or trips for pleasure. Check out www.bu.edu/abroad to begin mapping out your study abroad options for junior year or keep Alternative Spring Break in mind for spring 2013.

Steph: Big City, Big Opportunities

Steph ImageOne of the biggest factors I considered when looking for the perfect school was location. Early on in my search, I was convinced that I wanted a secluded campus with lots of lawns, brick, and vines. However, that quickly changed once I arrived on Boston University’s campus. For me, BU was the perfect combination: it had that collegiate, campus feeling while being in the middle of a big, exciting city. Once I walked down Comm Ave for the first time, I decided that with my eyes set on a degree in Communication, I couldn’t pass up all the amazing opportunities being in a big city would offer me.

Almost a year later (I can’t believe its gone by so fast), I’m absolutely positive that my decision was the right one. The fact is, through BU, COM, and the prime location, I have had so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had if I had chosen a different school in a different location.

Last night, my friend Anneliese and I hopped on the T right outside of our dorm and rode over the river to Cambridge. We were on our way to see a special screening of the movie Boy, a New Zealand film by director Taika Waititi, who also wrote and starred in it. Immediately following the screening, Waititi was there to do a Q&A. This was no ordinary night for Anneliese. Waititi is her favorite filmmaker, and inspired her love for the tiny country of New Zealand. Through the COM Study Abroad program, Anneliese plans on studying abroad there while having an internship in Film and TV. Because Boston is such a major city in the US, many filmmakers set their eyes on it for screenings and to help get the word out. Anneliese never thought that in her first year at college, she’d get the change to interview her favorite filmmaker from New Zealand. After contacting Waititi through Twitter, Anneliese was promised an interview with him after the screening for the profile she is writing on him for The Buzz, BU’s magazine.

Putting her COM 201 Writing for Communication skills to work, Anneliese dominated the Q&A and impressed Waititi with her professional questions. The producer of the film was also there, and approached us after the session. “Are you doing an article?” he asked her, clearly noticing the preparation and care had gone into her questions. She explained that she’s writing a profile for BU, and the producer instantly offered to give Anneliese Waititi’s contact information so that she could get the rest of her questions answered. While we were calm, collected, and professional on the outside, on the inside, we were BURSTING with excitement. She even got a kiss on the cheek from Waititi!

This is just one example of the incredible opportunities that come with studying in a major city. One more quick one: this past week, there was a pilot for a new ABC show filming—right on campus! Especially as a COM student, getting the chance to really put yourself out there and gain hands on experience in what you are studying is essential. COM encourages it, and so do I!

Come see for yourself how awesome it is to go to school in Boston—our COM Open Houses for admitted students are April 14th and 21st. Hope to see you there!

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!