Meet Courtney Risner, an official CAPA blogger in London, England for Summer 2021:
University: University of Missouri - Columbia
Major: Journalism and Political Science
Study Abroad Location: London, England
Internship or volunteer placement: Westminster Digital
What are you most excited for during your study abroad semester?
I am most excited about living in a completely new place and being exposed to and immersed in a culture that I have been curious about and admired for as long as I can remember. I look forward to communicating with others, learning about their own unique cultures, and what it means to be a member of the London community. I’m excited to try traditional British foods and drinks at British pubs and restaurants, shop where Londoners shop, live in my flat, work in a British work environment, and really just become a true Londoner.
What are three of your hobbies and interests?
My favorite pastime is watching movies. I even review and rank every movie I watch on an app called Letterboxd! I guess you could say I’m an amateur film critic… but I’d like to think I’m a pro. I also collect vinyls and currently have a collection of around 70 records. I’m into oldies music, mostly 70s and 80s rock and my favorite band is Queen! My favorite record I own is an original copy of A Night at the Opera by Queen. And last but certainly not least, I love to write. I have always written in my free time from short stories to poems to blogs to my Oscars acceptance speech (I’ll be glad I prepared when that day comes). I’m even working on my own book right now!
What’s one personal goal you hope to achieve while abroad?
During my study abroad experience, I hope to open myself up to new experiences and cultures to help me become a more well-rounded and worldly person. I have always been anxious when it comes to unfamiliar places and people, but I decided to come to London to help push me out of my comfort zone. I know the world has so much to offer beyond what I have experienced in my life in America, and I firmly believe that traveling to new places and becoming a part of the community not only helps us see those things, but become more aware and understanding of different ways of life. I am excited to pursue this goal through the experiences that my CAPA study abroad experience will provide me with this summer.
What’s one professional goal you hope to achieve while abroad?
Since declaring a major in Strategic Communications, I have taken many courses on the global aspects of the profession as well as the international companies and agencies involved in devising and disseminating them. What I have learned has made me increasingly interested in living and working abroad. This requires extensive research, knowledge, experience, and connections to help navigate an unfamiliar environment. Through my internship, I am hoping to not only gain some familiarity with the workplace in England, but also with people I encounter. Having personal relationships and networking with people is extremely important when it comes to truly immersing yourself into a new place and understanding if it can be the right fit long term.
What can we look forward to seeing in your blogs?
In my blog posts, I will be focusing on the academic, social, and cultural experiences that London offers and what it can bring to those who decide to participate in CAPA’s study abroad program. I will be sharing it all, the good and bad, to showcase what living in London and being a part of the community is really like. From my commute to work to how I adjusted to my flat to where I got the best sushi at 2am, you can expect to see it all right here!
Anything else you’d like to say to people reading about you for the first time?
I am just as unaware of what this blog is going to turn out to be as you are. All I know is I am going to keep it as real and helpful as possible. And if you’re on the fence about scrolling any further, well, then, as the Brits say: “just give it a go!”