Courtney Manning is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Convergence Journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
In this week's post, Courtney talks about how studying in London changed her as a person, and plans to return.
It’s absolutely crazy to think that my time in London is quickly coming to an end. It’s safe to say that this was the best semester of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. I feel that I have changed so much as an individual and as a student, and I have learned and grown more in such a short period of time- I will forever be grateful for that.
It breaks my heart that I will ever have to leave this beautiful city, but I now know that I definitely want to live here again after college. I’m going to try to get a job here immediately after I graduate because I don’t think that I can bear to be away from London for too long.
I feel much more mature and independent after living on my own in another country for so long. It was quite hard to get adjusted to living here at first, but I have certainly come a long way. Living in such a big, busy, sometimes harsh city has taught me a lot about flexibility and patience, as I have had to learn to go with the flow and that not everything can always (or even usually) go my way.
I learned an enormous amount about British culture from totally immersing myself in the culture here, and it’s going to be really strange going back to American culture after getting so used to the way things are here. I also learned a ton from my classes, as our field trips and lectures taught me so much more than I could ever learn just sitting in class back at Mizzou. I loved the hands-on learning style that CAPA gave us, and I feel that my mind has been very much expanded after this experience.
I also learned a lot from my internship at Index on Censorship. I am now a lot more confident in my journalistic and professional abilities, and I now feel quite prepared to enter the working world after college. I learned a lot about time management and professionalism, as well as how a real journalism office works, especially since I had never had an internship prior to this one.
Interning at Index taught me so much about politics, freedom of speech and expression and other countries I had never even heard of before, such as Bahrain and Azerbaijan. Working there also made me very excited to graduate college and be able to work at a place whose work I passionate about, even though before I had always been very scared to graduate from Mizzou.
I feel that I have really grown as a person due to my semester in London, and I can’t wait to return to this beautiful city. While my time here was not perfect, and everything did not always go exactly according to plan, I wouldn’t change a single thing. I feel extremely grateful for my time here, and I truly hope that I will eventually be able to spend years in London. For now, though, this was a great taste of what is (hopefully) to come.
Courtney's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.