Hello there! My name is Ana Alcasid and I am a junior psychology/BCS double major, studying at the University of Rochester. I am currently studying abroad in London, England, as well as interning with the mental health charity, Mind.
Although it’s only been the first month, I have completely fallen in love with the environment around me! For the first two weeks, I had a strong desire to shout to the heavens, “I’M IN LONDON!” with the song “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” from the musical Annie stuck in my head on repeat.
Currently I am taking two classes; Emotional Life which is a sociology class, and Psychology of Crime. Both classes are very different than any of the classes I’ve taken back home; in that the teaching styles and material are rather new to me. It has been a really refreshing experience and I thoroughly enjoy attending classes! While the entire experience of studying abroad alone has helped me reach out of my comfort zone, it has definitely proven to have helped me get over my nervousness around class participation and conversing with peers I don’t know. I’m thankful that this experience has helped me boost my self-esteem!
As an intern, I’ve been learning the in’s and outs of the administrative side, as well as the support service side of the organization. Watching my supervisor and my coworkers interact with clients on an individual basis has inspired me to want to learn more about individual clients and get to know them past just a case file. I’ve recognized that just a small phone call to a client may seem trivial but goes a long way.
It has been strange being so far away from home for so long. Celebrating my 21st birthday without my family did indeed bring about feelings of homesickness, but I have found a family abroad among my program mates, who were able to make my day special.
My experience over the past month has taught me a lot about myself and how to be independent. While I have always loved travelling and have visited a fair share of countries and Europe, studying abroad has fueled my desire to see more of the world and what it has to offer. I have never been more excited to experience and immerse myself into different cultures and parts of the world, as well as try new things!
Ana Alcasid, University of Rochester (London, Spring 2019)