Name: Abby Benton
Program: Skidmore in London
Location: London, England
Semester: Spring 2011
Major: Business and Economics
How did you choose your program?
I had always wanted to go to London, so it was one of the first places I looked for programs. The fact that Skidmore had a program was a bonus! Plus, there were a ton of perks of going on a Skidmore program including the cultural reimbursement, the living stipend, and the bi-weekly pub nights. It was also so easy applying and being able to talk to past participants really sold me.
What was the most memorable experience of the semester?
My most memorable experience of being abroad in London was definitely being there for the Royal Wedding. It was such an incredible time in the city; there were people cheering, drinking, and celebrating everywhere you turned. It was amazing.
Based on your experience, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester off-campus? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and/or professional goals?
The benefits of spending a semester abroad are immeasurable. For me, the greatest benefit was the personal growth I achieved while away from friends, family, and Skidmore. I gained so much independence and confidence from traveling by myself to a foreign country and learning how to make it on my own and basically start from scratch in a totally new place. Another huge benefit of being in London was the ability to travel extensively throughout Europe on a limited budget. It's so quick and easy to just book a trip and jet off somewhere to explore a new country and culture.
What advice can you offer for Skidmore students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Have fun! It really is one of the best experiences of your life. Not only because you're living and learning in a foreign place, but because it really helps you figure out who you are and your strengths and weaknesses. Also, put yourself out there. Be outgoing, make new friends, and don't hold back. Being abroad is a once in a lifetime experience, so make it count!