Sarah Cortes, U.K.

Sarah Cortes studied abroad with CAPA in London, England, during the Spring 2013 semester.

Photo: Sarah Cortes visits the Island of Burano in Venice, Italy

Why did you choose this location for your study abroad experience?

I was interested in studying/working with CAPA London because I loved the idea of being in a large, foreign city where English was still the primary language and I wanted the chance to be an intern at a foreign company. CAPA was the best choice because it provided the work experience I needed for future employment in one of the biggest cities in the world.

What was the most challenging part of being in another country?

The most challenging part about being in another country was understanding the accents of the people I was working with and meeting. Since I was studying in a country that predominantly spoke English and had heard the accent before, I was sure that I would be adept at conversation with British people. However, though I could understand more than some of my other American counterparts, I soon found that this was not the case. I often had to ask people to repeat themselves and didn’t want to ask more than once for them to clarify what they said. There were many times when I was utterly lost during conversations because I couldn't understand what was being said.

What memorable experiences did you have while studying abroad?

Some of the most memorable experiences I have from study abroad have to do with traveling. Through CAPA I was able to visit Stonehenge, Bath, Amsterdam, and Bruges as well as a nice tour of London upon our arrival. On my own accord I was also able to visit Scotland, Ireland, and Italy. All of these places were wonderful and beautiful in their own ways and I will never forget the times I had there.

What were some important things you learned while studying abroad?

Mind the Gap. Know how to get home before you have to go home. Slang is different in other places; use it wisely. Do not scream on the tube. Be mindful of other customs. Try everything. Travel, even if it seems out of your reach. Show up to classes and work (it’s only a few hours out of the week). Make the most of everything.

What do you think is the most important thing for students who choose to study abroad to prepare before they leave?

One of the most important things students should prepare for are saving/having enough money for everything while abroad. From traveling, food, activities, shopping as well as all the other fun and exciting things you’ll do, always make sure you have some back-up cash saved! This is especially important at the end of your trip when it comes to baggage fees on your return flight.

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