LONDON, ENGLAND (July 10, 2014) — A group of 15 UK students was seeing blue across the pond this summer. In a course designed specifically for first-generation students, students who are the first in their families to attend college, the group explored global communication and business in London, England, led by Director of First Generation Initiatives Matthew Deffendall.
Throughout their journey, UKNow highlighted some of their experiences by publishing their blogs.
Emily Griffin is a marketing and management major from Louisville, Kentucky. Her blog is below:
This is my last post from London. CHEERS!
Today has been very bittersweet. We started out the morning with a coach ride to Coca-Cola. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I was so excited to learn about the marketing and production of such a huge corporation. We got to see the different types of branding, the global communication Coke uses, and the best part was the production line. We got to see the machines that stack the Cokes, make the Cokes, and distribute the Coke. It was so neat to be in such a global business environment. After this, we got lunch at Pret where I had a delicious salmon and cheese sandwich. I will miss this grab and go sandwich place that was always convenient. Afterwards, I had my final workout at the gym and got ready for our dinner.
Farewell dinner was at Strada on the Thames River. It was really delicious because this time we got to choose our meal! I had sausage and pasta and chocolate fontenta for dessert. The chocolate chip gelato with it was amazing! Afterward, we all got to talk about our time abroad. I really felt like I made a family here. Even being all from UK, we are still so diverse, which made this trip that much more enjoyable. Matthew cried, we laughed, Sarah's boyfriend got pooped on by a bird, and we just enjoyed each other's company.
I have been wanting to travel abroad for years now. The fact that my time here in London, England, is coming to an end is extremely bittersweet. I have been preparing for months, and thanks to many of my friends and family, I have had the most amazing trip I could ever ask for. I got to see the most historical places in the world (walking the London Bridge, seeing London from a huge farriswheel, cruising on the Thames River, standing in two hemispheres at once, seeing the homes of queens and kings of the past and present, and much much more) while being in the most diverse city in the world. I could walk down the street and hear English, French, Spanish, Russian, and many more languages spoken all around me.
I have learned a lot about myself in the time I have been here. I feel more adaptable to my surroundings. People here in London take the time to appreciate nature and to communicate with friends after work by going to a local pub or by sitting out in a park just breathing in the fresh air. Even though I am in a different culture and country, I have never felt out of place here. I met the most amazing family and friends while abroad, and I know that no matter what happens we can all share this common bond.
The beauty that I have seen on this trip cannot be put into words. I have really enjoyed my time here, and I am coming home with a new outlook on life and learning to appreciate the little things more often. I loved being able to work with global businesses because it really made me realize that I chose the right major for me, and that I graduated in the field of study that I am extremely passionate about. I can't think of a better way to end my undergraduate career then being fully immersed into a brand new culture.
I really do appreciate every single person's support, time, money, and anything else they invested in me and this trip. My family, friends, and boyfriend have been so supportive of me and made my time away from home that much easier and enjoyable. We can never replicate this time abroad again, however, no one can ever take this away from us — and that is truly the most rewarding part of my time abroad. I am so lucky to have had this experience. I am excited to go home, but I know that I have found a second home to me, and a second family.
So, London and all the wonderful people here, it is not goodbye — it is see you later. CHEERS!