Hounds Away from Home: Around the world in one semester

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Molly Sweeney

It’s been over a month since I arrived in London for my semester of studying and interning abroad. While I have done quite a bit of international traveling at Assumption, my goal of studying abroad never seemed like it could become a reality. The timing never aligned with leaving for an entire semester, and the more involved that I became with various leadership positions on Campus, the more that the idea of spending a semester abroad seemed just as far away as London is from Assumption College.

It was this past March when I was crossing a street in London (ironically) that I realized I would be finished with the requirements of my major by the end of the semester, and that I had one more general education class to complete and my minors to finish. I knew getting on that plane to come home to New England would be hard, and that part of my heart was going to be left in London.

Here I am, back in the city that I love, for a semester of interning and studying. While my internship at GO Mammoth hasn’t officially started yet, I have finished the required internship workshops and have learned a great deal in my marketing, planning and strategy class that will be practical no matter what career path I venture down after I graduate in May.

My study abroad experience is a little bit different than most study abroad students because of the internship that I will be starting on October 12. I have had some downtime in the past few weeks before I begin working to explore London and even make a few trips to other countries as well.

In London, I have taken a ride on the London Eye, visited Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club, taken in a Rugby World Cup game at the Olympic Stadium and walked miles upon miles just taking in the scenery.

I’ve traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, and as you’re reading this, I am in Italy making a quick visit to the Assumption College Rome campus. Geneva was beautiful, filled with chocolate and cheese fondue and a visit to Scotland consisted of running 13.1 miles.

Before I left for London in August, everyone asked me what I was most excited about for my travels abroad. My answer usually sounded something like this: “Honestly, I’m really excited about the running.”

Weird, I know, but running has allowed me the opportunity to venture off the beaten path and see cities from a different perspective. I have watched the sun rise over Lake Geneva, I run daily past Kensington Palace and can hit every major landmark in London over the course of an 11 mile long run.

Some of the best parts of running abroad are the (at times entertaining) stories that I return with, whether it is the people that I see, the scenery that I run by, or the random mishaps that I always seem to encounter. True story—a dog started chasing a flock of ducks one day when I was running through Kensington Gardens, and a scared duck hit me in the head as it tried to escape. And no, I didn’t have time to duck.

In all seriousness though, being abroad truly instills a new sense of freedom and identity in study-abroad students. Running has given me this same freedom. Yes, I was a runner before I came to London, but doing what I am passionate about abroad has made me realize how much of the world there is to see, and how much of the world we pass by in everyday life, without taking time to notice of our surroundings. London has opened my eyes to the world around me and has made me become more aware of different cultures and ways of life, not only here in England, but also in America, through meeting different people within my study abroad program.

Though this is only the beginning of my adventure, studying abroad has allowed me to apply my Assumption education in a real-world way, from my English major and business (marketing and sports management) minors. I can walk (run) the same paths as the greats that I read about in my literature classes, while applying what I learned in my business classes once my internship finally begins next week. Finally, I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned in London back to Assumption in January.

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