How A Semester Abroad in London Changed Me for the Better

Jan 4, 2019 9:12:00 AM / by Christopher Halka

The beauty of studying abroad can be described in many ways. For Christopher, it's understanding the way studying and interning in a diverse city has been pivotal for him. In his final post, he outlines the changes he's noticed in himself, the increase in his creativity, and how he views his identity and level of cultural awareness.

Upon returning to the United States and having taken some time to reflect and get adjusted back to Eastern Time and overcome my jet lag (which included some rather long naps in the middle of the day), I have to say that I feel very content with my study abroad experience. Having been granted the opportunity to live, study, intern, and learn in such a global and diverse city like London for the past three-and-a-half months changed me for the better.

Abbey RoadDoing that iconic strut on Abbey Road.

Being fully immersed in such a culturally rich and diverse city has opened my mind to new ideas and has forever expanded my thought process in ways I could have never imagined. I have only been back in the United States for a few days, but already I can already see and understand how much more creative I am in my interactions with my friends and family members—and that I am much more thoughtful and creative when it comes to conversations and discussions with them.

Tower BridgeThe Tower Bridge spotted.

Over these past three-and-a-half months I came to learn and understand so many new concepts and facets of different cultures, and I already developed the skill of implementing certain things I learned while studying abroad and weaving them into my conversations with my friends and family members. I feel that I have so much to contribute with my experiences, and I can effectively provide useful insight and ideas from my interactions. One of the most important skills I have become adept in is understanding my cultural identity and my overall awareness of other cultures.

Over the duration of my life I have lived in areas where there hasn’t been too much exposure to other cultures since I grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, and then went on to further my education in a suburb of Albany, which is very white. So, this semester was a massive learning experience for me on diversity.

Me & Friends In Front of Buckingham PalaceMe and my friends in front of the Buckingham Palace.

This semester I had the opportunity to further my professional development and strengthen my resume by interning at a luxury lifestyle hotel and gain valuable insight as possible career outlooks for the future in accounting. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and the skills and insight I could bring to an organization. I felt that my internship was one of the most valuable experiences from this semester, and that ultimately it enabled me to accomplish something that I never would have imagined I would be doing.

Lastly, one of the most valuable things I did all semester was write this weekly blog! It allowed me to further practice and develop my abilities as a writer, while simultaneously providing me with the opportunity to record all my experiences from the most memorable semester of my life.

View from the Shard in LondonLooking at all London has to offer.

I cannot thank everybody enough for all the support over these past three-and-a-half months. This semester truly changed the course of my life, and I am always going to cherish the lasting memories I created. Thank you to all my readers, I hope you enjoyed my perspective and the ability to follow me along in my journey in one of the most pivotal and interesting times of my life. If you are going to be a future CAPA student, I hope you used my blog posts as a valuable source of information and have a good understanding of what to expect for a semester in London! Cheers!

Thanks, Christopher!

Christopher Halka

Christopher Halka is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Accounting major at Siena College, he is studying abroad in London this semester.

See more of Christopher's journey in London.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England, Why Study Abroad