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Live from London

Posted by Weichel, Justin A - August 29, 2012 - Justin W., London, Students, Study Abroad

Hello readers,
Have you traveled abroad or know someone who has? Or do you dream of traveling abroad some day? If yes, I believe my story and my posts will be interesting and inspirational to you. I am a 2007 Augusta High School graduate who finished my high school degree with a low GPA. In addition, I am a first-generation college student who has six older siblings who have never attended a university or traveled abroad. Therefore, after high school I did not have a stellar GPA and my parents were incapable of providing me with educational support during college. However, my parents were very encouraging and supportive of my educational and personal endeavors. In addition, in high school I had some great high school teachers and a few good friends who provided me with the confidence and the courage to pursue a college education.

Now, I have only one year left at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. During my college career, with the support and encouragement from my family, current and former teachers and professors, I have achieved many academic awards and personal goals. Some of these include being a current member of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, holding the position of vice president of National Wellness Institute-Student Chapter, being on the dean’s list for four consecutive semesters, and volunteering in many extracurricular and community activities. In addition, I have achieved a 4.0 GPA at UW-Stevens Point. My devotion and inspiration to achieve my aspirations is motivated by my desire to be a role model for my three younger siblings.

However, one of my biggest goals and dreams is to study abroad; which would have likely not been fulfilled if I was not awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. To be awarded the scholarship, students need to perform academically above their peers and be active on campus and in the community. Graciously, the selection committee believed I was a worthy recipient amongst a national selection of students.

I will be studying abroad in London, England from August 29-December 22, 2012. I will be interning at Evolve Yoga and Wellness Center and taking an International Business course and a History of London course at Birkbeck, University of London. For the first week of the program, I will be participating in an entry tour of England that include stops such as Bath, Wells, Stonehenge, Canterburty, Hastings, Dover, Salisbury and Brighton.

A unique aspect of this particular study abroad program is that I will be living in the International Students House, which has students all across the world living there. Having the chance to live with international students will provide me with many opportunities to make a wide network of friends who are from all over the world. Living there will also allow me to learn about different cultures and traditions.

In addition, on a personal level I have always been fascinated by British culture, architecture, history, and beauty. I believe this particular study abroad program will provide me with many rewarding experiences and several personal, academic, and career opportunities. The experiences from studying in London will likely be life changing. Developing an appreciation and understanding of the British culture is bound to increase my sense of humility and perception of other countries and traditions. Furthermore, living in another culture will challenge my adaptability, which is an important life-long quality that I highly value.

Thank you for reading my story, and I hope you have enjoyed my first post. I look forward to submitting my next one, which will be in about a week after arriving in England. The article will cover my experiences from entry tour of England.

-Justin

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