Getting a taste of the academic side of the London and Edinburgh trip with Student Traveler: Taylor Silveus

Hello, good day to you, friends! In England students can learn about the history behind this incredible country on the London and Edinburgh study abroad trip!

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This image was taken at Abbey Road, which is where the Beatles took their famous picture.

“I want to study abroad again so badly. It was such an awesome experience meeting new people, both from the UK and the other students that went along!” – Taylor Silveus commenting on her 2015 London trip. As an intern for the International Programs at IU South Bend, I conducted an interview with Silveus about her experiences to give students an inside look at studying abroad.

  1. What is your major? I’m majoring in Marketing and Advertising at IUSB.
  2. Which cities did you visit? I went to London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland when I studied abroad.

Being immersed in a sea of foreign people and experiences enables students to have ample academic and social growth.

  1. What was the coolest thing you learned? It was cool to learn the history behind the royal family. I learned about that while on a double decker tour I took on one of my free days.
  2. Tell me about what you learned in regards to the shift in tourism in London. Tourism undertook a drastic change in Britain during the 18thcentury, shifting the focus from the historical artifacts to the beauty of the country. I believe that the development of the print market is the number one reason for this change. It became immensely easier for people to learn what other countries have to offer in terms of the landscape and natural landmarks.

This shift became even more apparent during the recent technology burst. Images again took center stage as daily news and photographs from places around the world were flashed on Twitter and social media.

This directly affected me, being a key factor when making my decision to study abroad. I cannot imagine traveling through the Highlands of Scotland having never seen a picture of the landscape and maybe only ever hearing about it through word of mouth. The print market has improved tourism by leaps and bounds

  1. How has this affected you academically overall? Seeing a different culture and experiencing foreign places around the globe will enhance a student’s college life.
  2. What was something you did not expect to learn on the trip? I think an important part of studying abroad is learning quickly that it is not uncommon for things to go awry. An important skill for anyone to possess is knowing how to handle those kinds of situations. Not all parts of studying abroad are smiles, but it adds to the story you have to tell later on.
  3. What was your biggest obstacle on the trip? The biggest obstacle was actually just getting to London itself. We had trouble on our way to the airport in Chicago because we were delayed behind a fatal accident on the highway. It took hours to clear the road again so we missed our flight. In result, many of us lost tickets we purchased to use on a free day in London. Despite the unfortunate circumstance, our professors and the students dealt with it exceptionally well. To me now it’s just a funny story to tell people.
  4. Once you were on the trip, was there anything you wished you would have done before you left for the trip? I spent all spring planning what I wanted to do when I was in London. I think I got a little over excited for that city and neglected planning for Edinburgh. I wish I had taken the time to research more things to do in my free time there.

Because English is the primary language for Scotland and England, students may assume that these countries are fairly similar to the United States. However, students who went on the study abroad trip know that there are endless fascinating cultural differences that make everything an adventure all its own.

  1. Describe the environments, rooms, and people that you lived with on the trip. I had more space and privacy while I stayed in London. I had an individual dorm room at the University of London with a bed, desk, and sink. The window had a lovely view of a park across the street. I used community bathrooms and showers down the hall from my room though. I was surprised at how nice everything was in my room.

In Edinburgh, I shared a room with three other IUSB students. We stayed above a restaurant, which turned out to be awesome because we spent our nights there and met numerous people from other countries. I did not have as much room in Edinburgh, as the rooms were quite small. We had bunk beds and could barely walk past one another when we were all standing. The toilet was in the shower, which was one of the weirdest things I saw on the trip. The room also became very humid after someone showered because we were without vents.

  1. What was it like to stay in a foreign country that uses the same language we do? Even though they spoke English, the residents’ accents made it seem like a different language at times!
  2. What was the most intriguing thing you learned about the English and Scottish cultures? I learned that public bathrooms are not a common amenity in the United Kingdom. Whenever I was able to find one, it charged me for usage. I found that really odd and I wished I had been aware of it before going on the trip.

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This image was captured on top of an extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat, in Edinburgh.

To learn more about studying abroad, visit our website and Facebook page.

Blog post written by: Chrissy Bohlmann

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