Jorge Galvez Rodriguez - 2014 Program Participant
Why did you decide to study abroad?
I decided that it was time to explore other parts of the world. After living in the U.S. for two years and fulfilling one of my goals in life, I decided to pursue another dream I had: living in England for as long as I could. When the opportunity was given, I didn't think twice to say yes.
Why did you choose CAPA International Education over other program providers?
I heard very good feedback from my study abroad office about CAPA International Education, and how their students came back very happy. I also looked through their website and read testimonials from the program alumni about how the program had an impact on their lives, which led me to apply to the program and I am very glad I did.
What was your favorite part about London?
My favorite part about the location was the area surrounding the London Bridge and Covent Garden. They were both places that were very lively everyday. I enjoyed walking through them after class or during the weekends, and having brunch or afternoon tea, as well as seeing the many attractions both locations had. They had an outdoor cinema playing movies, like Goonies or the Lego Movie, in a small location next to the London Bridge, and they had numerous street shows in Covent Garden which were a lot of fun to watch.
What makes the CAPA program in London one of a kind in your opinion?
The faculty in the program made the difference because of their particular method of teaching. They understand that we are studying abroad and we were experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity, so instead of giving us a heavy workload, they made us explore London, learn about the culture, how London is the main port of a lot of issues going on in the world. From the excursions to the lectures, it was an overall pleasant experience.
How did local CAPA staff support you throughout your program?
The CAPA International Education staff really make you feel at home, and they care about the students. From helping students overcome homesickness, to providing helpful tips on how to save money and what places to visit to get the most out of your London experience. The CAPA staff make the experience a lot more pleasant because they understand that for a lot of us it's our first time in Europe, and for some it’s even the first time leaving the country. They're always there for whatever you need.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I would've planned my fall break a bit better so that I could've traveled to places I really wanted to visit. Because of people having different plans and me being a little scared of traveling by myself, I wasn't really comfortable with planning my fall break, which lead me to book during the week before it started. I went to a lot of places last minute, that although were great, I could've visited a lot more places.
What was a normal day like for you as an international student in London?
During weekdays, I would wake up and, depending on whether I had class in the afternoon or in the morning, I would make breakfast and then go to the gym. Then I'd make lunch and go off to class, taking the tube from Holborn station down to Earl's Court or Gloucester Road. Once I got to CAPA I would get some coffee before class and be in class for three hours. Depending on the activities, we would have discussions or go out on field trips to the financial sector in London or museums or places that explained and helped us learn about the history in London.
During weekends, I would wake up and make breakfast and plan on what to do for the day, what activities were going on, and where and which ones sounded more interesting. I would leave the house and wouldn't come back until before dinner; then I would have dinner and go to a pub or a club with my friends.
What did you like to do on your free time?
Exploring different places in London. The thing about London is that you always have places to go, things to do at any time of the day, any day, so you will never get bored.
What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?
I had a two-floor flat with three rooms: one triple, one double, and a single, with a kitchen, living room, two full bathrooms, and one normal bathroom. What I liked the most about it was that it was centrally located and everything was just a short tube ride away. Because of its central location, we were also very safe and surrounded by a lot of the English culture.
Now that you're home, how has your study abroad experience impacted your life?
After my semester abroad, I realized that London is the place I want to live some day. It also helped me discover what I want to do with my life career wise, and has helped me found my passion for financial services. Before London, people asked me where I saw myself in 10 years and I could never answer, but now I know: I want to go back to London. It is my second home and the place I want to be.