Hard Goodbyes: The Bittersweet End of Semester Abroad

Dec 17, 2018 2:22:00 PM / by Genevieve Rice

In this week's post, Genevieve prepares to bid farewell to London, her internship experience, and her semester abroad—but not before getting through finals week! She also talks about how professor Mike Punter and his classes have left a mark on her and why she will miss this experience tremendously.

It’s the final week in London. Currently, everyone is wrapping up their last exams and papers, as well as trying to squeeze every last memory out of our time here. It’s become small talk to ask, ‘How are you feeling about going home?’ to whoever sits beside you in class. The answers are varied, but the general consensus is ready for a break, but not ready to leave London. We have each made a space for ourselves in this fast city, and who knows if who we have created ourselves to be here will even carry back home. For me, the last day at my internship was when the fact that I am leaving on Saturday became real. I had to say goodbye to friends, the building, and the role that I enjoyed. The internship had been a connection to the future that I want, but that isn’t a reality yet. So, when I turned in my badge to reception and walked out the fake-snow encrusted front door, it felt like I was snipping the fragile thread connecting me to an unachievable future for a vast number of undergrads.

London at NightNight walks along the Thames are a surefire way to relieve exam stress.

This hectic, loud, rich, tea-filled semester is coming to a close. This means goodbyes, not only to places or peers, but also to all of the routines of daily life. This includes saying goodbye to CAPA, some of which I am excited about, and some goodbyes I am a little heartbroken over. Saying goodbye to the shower head that doesn’t stay upright unless the water stream is directed at your face is not one I am torn up over. Saying goodbye to the professors that I absolutely adore and who taught me so much about London and the profession that I want to pursue after graduation, now that is a hard goodbye.

Study ChairFinals week is "spend all your money at coffee shops while you study" week.

One professor who I am going to miss tremendously—to any future CAPA students, I highly, highly recommend his classes, they are a joy to go to for three and a half hours—is Dr. Michael Punter, or Prof. Mike.

In an interview I conducted with Prof. Mike, he shared how he came to be a teacher. He was, and still is, a writer, but his love of teaching developed when he was asked to adapt Aristophanes’ play The Birds for a group of students at a youth theatre in Birmingham. Through working with those students, he learned that he truly has a passion for aiding students in discovering the joy of the arts in their own personal way. After that experience, he pursued an education degree, and then worked in a college–which is between high school and University in the UK—until he began work at CAPA.

Another favorite study spot: CAPA center.

At CAPA, he was asked to rewrite a few of their courses, and when he finished, they asked him if he would continue teaching. From there, he expanded the number and variety of the courses he teaches until now, where he teaches classes like Arts Administration and a Witchcraft in the Theatre course. These classes are student favorites, because of Prof. Mike’s enthusiasm and passion for teaching students, not just teaching as a whole.

CAPA London CenterFinals week at CAPA.

Professors like Prof. Mike have made my experience in London so much richer as they teach the culture and history of a place that I walk around in every day. The people that I have built relationships with, either in class or out of it make saying goodbye so difficult. Although I am not going to miss the extraordinarily long and busy weeks that CAPA expects to be normal (20 hours at an internship, 15 hours in class, and then homework and travel time does not allow for much free time), the people that I have come to know through this program have been invaluable in teaching me more about myself and the city that I called home for the past three months.

Thanks, Genevieve!

Genevieve Rice


Genevieve Rice is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An English Literature major at Anderson University, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

Genevieve's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England, International Education