Hi! I’m Alyx, a senior advertising major, and this summer I studied abroad on the British Media Studies program through Gaylord. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the trip since it was my first time in the United Kingdom, but it ended up being an amazing experience and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go. Since it was through Gaylord College, we were able to get a behind the scenes look at so many companies and organizations that I wouldn’t have been able to visit otherwise. For example, one of our visits was at Al Jazeera, whose London office is located in the Shard, the tallest building in the UK. You can spot the Shard in the newest Marvel movie "Spider-Man: Far From Home," along with Tower Bridge! It was a pretty cool feeling to be able to say “Hey, I was there!” when those iconic landmarks showed up in the movie.
Of course, I enjoyed my study abroad experience for more reasons than being able to recognize locations in movies. I had the chance to talk with so many impressive people, whether they were foreign correspondents at the New York Times, account managers at Edelman, or managers for a film studio and production company. Talking to these people and hearing their stories made me confident that I’m on the right path and made me excited for my future after college. Seeing each of these impressive companies from the inside demystified the industry and helped me understand how I could possibly be working there someday.
When we weren’t visiting industry professionals and touring media companies, there was plenty of time for sightseeing and exploring the cities we visited! Over my two weeks in London, I had the chance to try a bunch of different coffee shops and cafes, which is my mission in pretty much every new city I visit. If you find yourself in London, definitely stop by “Look mum no hands!”. It’s a coffee shop and bike shop in one, so you can sip your morning latte while browsing for a new bike, or just flip through a mountain biking magazine. In between cups of coffee, I also rode the London Eye, took a boat cruise down the Thames, saw Buckingham Palace, and had afternoon tea! I even got the chance to visit Paris over a weekend, which was magical even if I spent most of the time eating crepes.
Overall, despite my initial worries about not knowing anyone on the trip or being in a foreign country, I’m so glad I participated in the British Media Studies program. I came home not only with souvenirs but also with some amazing memories with everyone on the trip. With all the activities and so many people to meet, I hardly had time to feel homesick. I have a feeling I’ll be planning a return trip soon!