MU Journalism Students Abroad

Lauren Crotty in London

Personal Travel Journals and Experiences

Allison Mang
Allison Mang

Allison Mang
Strategic Communications
Guadalajara, Mexico


Why did you decide to go?
Studying abroad has always been a goal for me since I began college. I knew that these few years were my window of opportunity to stay in a foreign country for a long period of time. I also want to learn Spanish and I know that the only way I can truly become fluent is to be immersed in the language.

Did you have any crazy experiences in the foreign country?
The second night I was there, my roommate and I got lost coming home! First, we took the bus too far past our first stop. Then, when we made it back, we decided to stop by Wal-Mart before boarding the next bus home. Then we boarded a bus with our hands full of bags and our backpacks on our backs. We took the bus way past our stop and ended up walking a mile back to our house in the dark. We were so frustrated, and when we got home, we cried together.

How do you think studying abroad helped your education?
I think this is helping my education by exposing me to a culture totally different from my own in a “lab” far more realistic then any classroom. I am learning to be open-minded about differences, welcoming of new experiences, while also noticing similarities between this culture and my own. Besides learning another language, I am learning what life is like outside my own country’s borders, and I am realizing that there is so much more to this world than what I have seen on the news. This experience has began what I hope will be a lifetime of exposure to other cultures and peoples around the world.

Lauren Crotty
Lauren Crotty

Lauren Crotty
Strategic Communications
London, England


Why did you choose to study abroad?
I’ve always wanted to spend a semester abroad because I feel like I can learn so much more through experiences than I can by reading a book or listening to a lecture.

What was the most important thing that you learned from this experience?
Now that I have lived in a completely new country and gained work experience, I feel very confident that I can do almost anything. I have learned not to be shy and take the initiative when an opportunity appears!

What impressed you the most about the country that you studied in?
I was impressed by the diversity and ease of traveling. Public transportation is much more efficient and widely used than in America.

Do you have any interesting stories about your travels?
We went to Brussels for a weekend and it took us three hours to find a hotel. We were walking around in the bitter cold, carrying our luggage, and nobody spoke English. Eventually we found it and survived.

How do you think your experiences helped your education?
It has been the most eye opening experience of my life. I think traveling is the most useful educational tool for anyone.

Lauren Lilley
Lauren Lilley

Lauren Lilley
Strategic Communications
London, England


Why did you decide to study abroad?
I wanted to learn more about the world and myself and I thought studying abroad would be a good chance to do so.

What impressed you the most about the country you studied in?
I love Hyde Park. It is like the Central Park of London. It lies smack in the middle of all the action, but it is so peaceful with little ponds and lots of trees and pace to walk or run.

Do you think this experience has enhanced you as a professional?
Absolutely, I am working four days a week, and although it is a magazine, I am getting a lot of public relations experience. I am seeing how the other side of advertising works so I will have a more well-rounded experience. I am also working with the advertising people to learn more about what I want to do when I graduate. I think any work experience will enhance you as a professional, but being in a new country and proving that I can make it on my own is invaluable for me and my career. Even if I never actually work in London, I am still worldlier and tolerate of a different culture.

What differences did you notice between American media and the media in London?
A big difference is that there are a lot more newspapers and magazines. They are everywhere. In fact, competition is so intense that even the magazines have begun offering free gifts, especially with their weekend issues in order to create incentive for readership. There also seems to be a greater interest in world events and what is going on outside the country.

Lynsy Smithson-Stanley
Magazine
Alicante, Spain


What has impressed you about this country the most?
Their adherence to older traditions and ability to resist acculturation as so many other countries have done.

What was a typical week like?
Class was really easy for Monday and Tuesday, but longer on Wednesday and Thursday. After classes I usually visit the computer lab for e-mails and research. Then I go home for comida (big lunch) take a nap (siesta) and then visit with my roommates. They are Canadian, Swiss and Finnish. The weekends are very laid back. We usually stay in and cook dinner one night, and then head out on the town with the city people on Saturdays. These are the nights when we stay out until morning and dance all night.

How do you think this experience will enhance you as a professional?
Being able to understand where people are coming from is the primary tool for successful communication. I believe that culture might be the greatest indicator for determining how people perceive everything from the daily schedule to race relations to the way government should function. Now that I see how varied these perceptions can be, I understand what questions to ask to entice people to explain why they feel the way they do on any given subject. I can also speak Spanish pretty fluently, which is becoming more and more helpful in US journalism.

What differences do you notice between American media and your country?
The television and periodical news here is very regional. They are mostly concerned with the immediate impact not necessary on their city, but region. I have yet to see as many “personal” stories as we would call them. For instance, they rarely feature the “regular Joe” doing his job and how that is news.

Kim Trokey
Kim Trokey

Kim Trokey
Strategic Communications
London, England


How do you think this experience will enhance you as a professional?
I am learning how to work on a part of a corporate team, seeing the office “dynamic,” and I am getting used to the nine to five work day. I am learning how to deal with people on a PR level, how to multi-task, etc. Personally, I am getting used to being on my own and having to fend for myself.

Do you have any crazy or interesting stories about your travels?
Everywhere I have gone has been crazy and interesting! I meet strange and exciting people every single day in London.

Why did you decide to go?
I’ve wanted to study abroad since high school. This program was perfect for me because it allowed me to get an internship done for class credit and be in London at the same time. I chose London because there is so much to do here, including museums, parks, theatre, clubs, pubs, etc. You are never, ever bored!

Jane Di Leo
Magazine
Alicante, Spain


How do you think this is helping your education?
I am able to look at things from a more global view. I am also able to put things in perspective more. We get so stuck in ruts here of what job we will have when we graduate, what grade we will get, etc. There is more to life than these things!

What has impressed you about this country the most?
The way of life. Things were more family centered rather than work centered like they are in the US.

How do you think this experience will enhance you as a professional?
I will be able to look outside the “American” box and realize that there is a larger world out there.

How do you think your studying abroad helped students native to that country?
I think it gave them an idea of American students and an idea of our culture.

What is a typical week like?
Two and a half days of classes, beach time, time with friends and relaxation.

Updated: August 15, 2019

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