By Laura Spitler

One of the absolute best things you can do during your four years of college is study abroad.  SMU offers a plethora of abroad options from four weeks to a whole year, from Bali to Copenhagen – no matter what your major is there is a program for you. As a marketing major, the right program for me was SMU’s London Business Internship – it runs eight weeks and combines a class with an internship abroad, earning 6 credits.

London SMU blogFor someone who had never been to Europe before, living in London has been such an exciting and eye-opening opportunity. There are 90 of us from various colleges in the States that took a class on “How Britain Works,” taught by three professors from Oxford and Cambridge. Our class covered politics, economics, and social policies, meeting three hours a day for a month. This structure left us plenty of time to explore our new home!

(pictured: SMU Ambassadors Laura Spitler [far left] and Ryan Herrscher [far right] along with other SMU students studying and working in London)

I’ve seen the changing of the guards at the Palace, ridden the London Eye, and even attended worship service in Westminster Abbey. Beyond the touristy things, I have been shopping for my own food at the grocery store, learning the lingo (a “savory biscuit” is really just a cracker), reading in Hyde Park (just a short walk from our residence), and riding the tube like a pro (and by that I mean not making eye contact and remaining silent).

I am so thankful for the invaluable opportunity to intern abroad after only two years of college.  I have been placed with a small, but successful, company in the global travel industry. One of the perks of working for a company this size is that I am almost playing the role of Marketing Director for them. In just my first week I have already made lasting contributions to their company.

A huge advantage of living in London is the ease of travel to other European countries.  Just last weekend I was in Zurich, Switzerland and Milan, Italy!

Living and working in England and travel around Europe has shifted the way I see other countries; I used to view them as utterly foreign, but now all I see is the common humanity.