A semester abroad in London was one of the best decisions I had ever made within my life. Exposing myself to a way of living that I never knew existed was a double-edged sword, knowing the endless possibilities but already having to say goodbye after only 3 months. Within my experience I had the opportunity to take classes outside of my comfort zone with courses such as: European Business Culture, Popular Music in Britain, Historic London, and Performing Arts in London. Each course provided me with the challenge of using a different perspective to achieve my learning goals in pushing myself to a new potential. European Business Culture covered the running logistics of the European Union and its inner workings. Popular Music in Britain we discussed the shift of genres throughout each generation and the beginnings of punk rock, ska, and the blues. Historic London paraded us through the biggest landmarks of London including the Parliament building, Spitalfields, Westminster Abbey, St. James Park, and of course Buckingham Palace. Within the Performing Arts of London course, we had the opportunity to attend performances such as La Traviata, Guys and Dolls, As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe, and more. These courses provided me with the insider scoop of London on a global scale through its enriching historical ties and beautiful sightseeing.

I had the opportunity to travel to 13 countries during my time abroad. The countries visited included: Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain, France, Hungary, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland. Some of my favorite places within the UK were Brighton and Stonehenge, both with astonishing views and rich in history. However, a trip that reigned at the top of the list without a doubt was Bergen, Norway. This specific trip was spent enamored with the colorful buildings in “Bryggen”, cruising through the desolate and gorgeous landscape in the fjords, while also hiking alongside wild goats. This trip became a core memory during my time abroad to reconnect with nature after the blinding sidewalks and city skylines most industrial cities offered. Enveloped with its natural beauty and incredible hospitality, I found Norway to be a country full of adventure and hospitable people each with different identities and backgrounds ranging from near and far.

A major worry I encountered was my inability to communicate and interact with each country’s locals due to language barriers as well as different values, but how wrong was I. Each new place told a different story based on the lives and experiences of its incredible people. I learned that communication does not only derive from verbal dialogue but rather through its history, art, food, architecture, dance, music, and especially through smiles and laughter. Connecting with others of different backgrounds is rather a balance between cultural understanding and goodwill not a language barrier. In other words, “if there is a will, there is a way”.


Although classes and traveling were developmental in nature, the friendships I created quickly became the forefront of my accomplishments while living abroad. My closest friend being from the Netherlands taught me a lot about myself and the greater world that exists detached from my own realities. Although living thousands of miles apart, with prevalent language barriers, and subtle cultural differences, our shared experiences of life cultivated a deep-rooted friendship that I will cherish for the rest of my life. My experience abroad would not have been complete without our endless tube rides, never ending investigative searches for the best brunch spots, wearing “I heart London ” shirts through the city and side streets, or most prevalently any time spent together laughing and finding everything and anything to do. I will forever appreciate the laughs, tears, and smiles spent together while navigating not only a new country but a newfound city I left considering home.

If there is anything I encourage college students to do, it is to study abroad. College is a crucial time of our lives to experiment. Our lives deserve to be full of appreciating new cultures, developing lifelong friendships, networking, and career advancements. Studying abroad instills a confidence that goes beyond the four walls of a classroom that prepares students for situations outside of their comfort zones and inspires a new generation of risk taking and living life to the fullest.


Montana Dobrovich-Fago

Class of 2024

London Fall 2023