Mary Kate Moran - 2014 Program Participant

What made you decide to study abroad in London?

When I got into school my freshman year I knew that I wanted to study abroad and London was the place that best fit my needs for school and my interest.

What was the main reason you chose CAPA in particular?

The main reason that I chose this program was because of the opportunity to have an internship.

What were some things that make CAPA so interesting?

CAPA was so interesting because I had the chance to work in an internship while I was there, so I was not stuck in the classroom all day. It was also interesting because you did not take classes with other British students. This was nice because the professors that taught the classes really took a chance to incorporate the city into the class material. I therefore felt that I got to learn so much about London that I may have not have had the chance to learn if I was in a classroom with other British students.

What is the best thing about CAPA London?

The best thing about the program is the support system that you have in CAPA. While I was there for the semester I always felt like I could go to the people at the office in London for anything. They were always supportive and were there to make sure you had the best experience you could.

What was your personal favorite part of the program?

The favorite part about my program was having my internship. I truly enjoyed being able to have an internship and learning more about their political system. The organization that I worked with engaged youth on political issues so I had the chance to learn about the problems they faced. It was interesting to be able to compare that to American society and see the differences.

Now that you’ve gone through the experience, what's one thing you would have done differently while in London?

One thing that I would have done differently was taking a little more time to explore the city of London a little more. While I was able to see a lot of London I was also really focused on visiting other places, so I wish I had taken a little more time to explore London and all it has to offer.

What was the best day you had during your program?

The best day of my program was a day that two of my friends and I did not have class or our internship, so we spent the day running around the city seeing as much as we could and continuously getting lost. We explored China Town, we ran around Trafalgar square, and got lost trying to find a pub for some fish and chips. It was so much fun getting lost and finding new things and meeting people that were so willing to help us and tell us about London.

Did you experience any form of culture shock throughout the experience?

I was not too cultured shocked when I got there because I am from upstate New York so I am used to the city life. I did experience a sense of reverse culture shock however when I came back to the states. It was weird when I came back not having everything at my fingertips, or getting on the tube to go somewhere, or having the same lively atmosphere of London. I was able to get over it rather quickly but it was an interesting experience to go through.

In what ways has studying abroad impacted your life?

Studying abroad has impacted my life in ways that I cannot even begin to explain. Whenever I get a chance to talk about my program or studying abroad, in general all I can ever say is that it is the best experience that you will ever have. It gave me confidence in going out and doing things on my own, I met friends I am still in contact with, and I had the chance to have an amazing internship and learn so much. The major way that it has affected my life though is how it has changed my path that I am taking. While I was abroad I had the chance to reflect on what I wanted to do with my life and my career path and I realized that I would much rather be abroad. Therefore, the biggest impact my experience had on me was helping me realize that I want to pursue a Master’s degree in London.