Hello! As most of you know, I’ll be starting my Britain study abroad program in just a few days. I can barely contain my excitement! I’ve been staying in the UK for the past week, and I can already tell you that I love British people.
As part of this program, I will have assignments that need to be completed, but when I saw that a majority of it includes writing blog posts summarizing each company visit, I was beyond thrilled because obviously, I’ve been a blogger of six (!!) years now! We will be visiting technology companies in the UK like Amazon, 3D Print UK, F5 Networks, and more. Keep your eyes peeled for those posts!
Before I start my program, I want to discuss what I’ll be expecting as well as my goals:
The Company Visits
I am truly looking forward to the company visits, as I want to learn as much as I can during this program. Some companies I’ve heard of, some I have not. Regardless, even though I was assigned to research and compile a company briefing for 3D Print UK, I still want to do my own research on each company in addition to listening to my classmates’ presentations. I think this will instigate my questions and put my learning to its greatest potential. The more knowledge I have about a company, the more questions I’ll be able to ask.
Because we’ll be visiting around 10 companies, I expect that I’ll be vigorously taking notes in order to remember the details for my blog posts and future reflection paper. I also tend to absorb information better if I am writing it down rather than just listening.
Business etiquette in the UK is focused on punctuality and it actually seems like they are more formal overall, but I’m looking forward to visiting companies that differ in their structure and operations, like 3D Print UK, which has less than ten employees.
I hope that each company visit will inspire me to look into a new topic every time, and allow me to decide which industry I enjoy the most. I am intrigued by technology, and because Seattle is a fast-growing tech city, I am looking forward to comparing London & Seattle’s economic and technological growth.
The Culture & People
In my almost full week of spending time in the UK so far, I already really enjoy the people. Did you know that most people say “cheers” in place of “thank you” here? I absolutely love that. Even though the UK is an English-speaking country, I expect there to be some lingo differences, but not too much else. So far, I haven’t been called out for being “American”, but I’m nervous as I start living in London that the people in the city will start inquiring about the tumultuous state America is in at the moment, which I’d rather avoid talking about. However, I’ve been following British news on BBC every morning as I eat breakfast and the updates on Brexit are a rollercoaster ride itself – I’ll continue following it closely.
I definitely want to live in the UK at some point in my life, so I want the most genuine experience I can get, and that starts with being open-minded. It’s easier said than done, but earlier this summer in my Rome study abroad program, I realized that I was able to enjoy the city so much because a) I was living like a local and b) I was quite open-minded and relaxed. I hope to repeat that mindset in my time in Britain.
That’s all for now, talk soon!