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Kelsey VanVehcten ’22 is a first-year from Upstate New York, an Actuarial Science major, and a fellow FYSAE student. Here, she shares her thoughts on FYSAE and her three months in London.
K: I got the message in the mail, and I chose fall because I figured it would be better to make friends in the spring than lose friends after the fall. From the start, I knew I wanted to do London. When people asked me where I wanted to go, I always said London. I did not expect our orientation to be so interactive— we got to walk through so much of London the first week. It was awesome.
K: The fact everyone spoke English made it easier. The professors knew our situations. The biggest challenge, for me, was getting to school in London because since we lived an hour away. I had to manage my time more. Back home, I was only five minutes from school.
K: One of my favorite memories was a tea bus tour we took, because it really sunk in that I was in London and that I made the right choice in locations. I really did not have that bad days— “A bad day in London is better than a good day anywhere else!”
K: I learned there’s a lot more good people than bad, because when you don’t know what you’re doing, there’s a lot of people willing to help you. I changed through the people I lived with here— there was a lot more diversity here than in my school back home, which allowed me to experience many different viewpoints and ways of life.
K: At first I wasn’t, but now that it’s getting close to our departure date, I've had dreams that I’m home. I don’t want to leave the people behind, but being out of the home routine has gotten to me. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss working, because here we do not have a set income and can’t get jobs, so it’s hard spending money that we had to budget.
K: Oh absolutely. I want to go to South Africa. While it was cool to be somewhere with a similar culture, it would be more interesting to learn about and live in a different culture.
K: Go in with an open mind. Don’t study abroad with expectations, because you might be disappointed. There’s always something you won’t expect that will come out of the blue and surprise you. I feel like it was different for us, though, because we went to England, they speak our language— it made it a lot easier for the first time abroad. Definitely do Fall FYSAE.