Jessica Cohen - 2015 Program Participant
A panorama of South London taken from the top of St. Paul's Cathedral
Why did you decide to apply for an international program?
I’ve always had a passion for traveling, and I’ve always dreamt of going to London.
Why did you choose to attend your university’s program in the UK?
I chose this program because a summer program worked best with my major and I wanted to go to the amazing city of London. I got to meet other Temple students who I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
What was your favorite part about London?
There is always something to do in London; it is an absolutely amazing city. If anyone says that they studied abroad and did everything in London, they’re lying! I loved being at the center of British culture, and I got to do things like eat Jammie Dodger and use an Oyster Card.
What made your educational experience abroad unique?
We had field trips that went along with the material we discussed in class, and I found it very beneficial to my learning. There were a few mandatory field trips and plays we had to attend for the program too. Other than that, we had the freedom to do what we like, which allowed me to immerse myself in British culture.
How supportive were local staff members?
We took classes at Arcadia University's London site, so there was always someone there to answer questions if we had any.
Afternoon tea at Sketch, one of the coolest places ever
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I wish I’d seen more! I was only there for six weeks, so there was so much to squeeze in. If only I'd had more time.
Describe a day in the life of your program.
I woke up, got ready, and went down to the tube station. London has an amazing public transportation system, but peak hours on the tube are super crowded, and therefore less than pleasant. I squeezed on the tube and then moved with the crowd up to street level again. I felt like such a Londoner commuting to class. I went to class, ate lunch, and then explored the city. I went to bed exhausted each night, a sign that I had a day filled with adventure.
What activities did you enjoy on your free time?
My favorite activities were exploring the city and travelling. London is so exciting and diverse, there’s always something happening and something new to see. I went away almost every weekend, because I don’t know when I’ll get back to Europe. I went to Amsterdam, Dublin, Cardiff, and Edinburgh, and they were all amazing.
What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?
We stayed in a student apartment building in Bethnal Green, which is a cool part of London. We were about a block from the tube station, which was very convenient.
What was the hardest part about studying abroad?
The hardest part about studying abroad was probably flying there. I had never flown anywhere by myself, let alone flying across the Atlantic and having to go through customs.
What surprised you most about London?
I was surprised most by how large London is. It's not just the bustling city you see on TV, there are so many different parts that make up London.
What is one thing you wish you would have known before studying abroad in England?
I wish I'd have known how to manage my time better. There's so much to see in London, and although I saw a lot, I still didn't get to see everything I wanted to.
Do you have any packing tips for individuals headed to London?
My packing tips would be to pack layers. Summer in London is not as hot as it is here in the States, so layers come in handy.
Walking across the Millennium Bridge - one of my favorite smells is the smell of the candied nuts that are sold on the bridge.
Now that you're home, how has studying abroad impacted your life?
I want to leave again; I’ve got the travel bug. I felt more a part of the world than I ever had. I was more than an American, I was a world citizen. I want to feel that again. I want to feel the jitters and anxiety and excitement of being in a foreign place.
What do you feel the biggest benefit of study abroad is?
I would say that the biggest benefit of studying abroad is independence. Living in a new country forces you to adjust to new surroundings, alter your lifestyle, and try new things, all while doing it on your own.
Would you recommend Temple University’s UK program to other students?
I would totally recommend Temple University to other students. This is an excellent program organized by great Temple faculty.
If you could study abroad again, where would you go?
If I could study abroad again, I would like to step outside my comfort zone and maybe go somewhere in Asia.