Name: Claire Rupprecht
Program: Skidmore in London at UCL
Location: London, England
Semester: Spring 2007
How did you choose your program?
From a young age I knew I wanted to be British, so when it came to choosing my study abroad location it was a clear choice to go to London. I had the choice of a few London universities, and I decided to go for the school with the strongest academic record, which was University College London.
What was the most memorable experience of your semester off-campus?
Getting to live in a new culture and truly immerse myself in British life was amazing. I was lucky enough to live in a flat that was full of British students, and they were kind enough to introduce me not only to what we all know as typical British things (tea, scones, Buckingham Palace) but also their own versions of London (marmite, the lunch spot around the corner, a variety of types of biscuts they had grown up with that I'd never seen). I learned to love London and the British more than I had ever thought possible.
Based on your own experience, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester off campus?
Spending a semester off-campus has been the single most important experience in shaping my personal and professional life. Not only did I get to study under some exceptional professors and confirm my fascination with London, but without my knowing I was preparing myself for my first post-graduate job as the Skidmore in London FYE Program Assistant. Spending this time working in London solidified my decision to return for the long run. After this one semester position finished, I applied to King's College London where I studied for my teaching certificate. As a result, I am currently a secondary school Mathematics teacher at an inner-city London school.
What advice can you offer for Skidmore students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Start planning as soon as possible. Are there any classes required for your major that you can only take during certain semesters? Do you have to take them in a certain order? This may dictate which semester you can choose to go abroad.