COLA Study Abroad Interview- Justin Missert- London

 

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Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Justin Missert, I’m a dual major in economics and history. I’m a junior and will graduate in 2020. I’m from Windham, New Hampshire.

Why did you choose London? Why a UNH managed program specifically?   

I chose London Spring 2018 because 1. They speak English there, 2. It is a hub of  travel, I could, and did, go all through out Europe, and 3. The weather was much nicer! We only had about a little bit more than an inch of snow… compared to the six plus inches in New Hampshire. I chose a UNH managed program because it was very well supported by UNH and it was easier than doing it on my own.

Have you been out of the country before? If so, where? Did this influence your decision to study abroad in London?  

Yes, but not as far or as long as when I was in London. I went to Canada for about a week with my high school band and also to the Bahama’s. But I haven’t travelled nearly as long as January to June.

What were your expectations of London before arriving? 

Wow, going in I knew it was going to be like this huge city and traffic would be different, but other than that I had no idea how beautiful London could be, especially central London. You see all the movies and you realize it’s very different than what you expect… it’s better. It looks big and spread out but in central London, it’s only maybe a 20 or 30 minute walk to anywhere. This was very surprising because oh, you’re in Piccadilly and you can skip over the Buckingham and more!

What is the most valuable lesson you learned from studying abroad? 

I guess, learning I can be very independent when I need to be, I did a lot of traveling both in the city and in Europe in general just by my self.

What has your experience taught you about yourself and the world around you?  

That the world is a bigger place than I thought it was. I was sheltered, had only minimally travelled, and to going to a metropolitan with people and cultures from all over the world really opened my horizon.

Did you travel outside your host city? If so where was the favorite place you went and why?  

Oh boy, I travelled so much I can’t choose. I will say, top three places would have to be Switzerland, Rome and Amsterdam. But London goes with out saying.

Tell us about the classes you took abroad. Did you have any memorable moments in any of these classes?  

Yes, I took two really fun classes, one called “The History of London” where the professor took us into London to visit historical sites. We were also able to see many plays, my favorites were Book of Mormon and Pippin. My family actually came to visit, and I originally booked tickets to see Book of Mormon, made a mistake and had to move the date, so we also saw Phantom of the Opera. One memorable moment was meeting Ian McKellen, he was bumbling around a pub and I saw him and talked to him. He had his Gandalf staff around the counter. I had to control my inner fanboy from screaming, “ahhhh it’s Gandalf!”

Why do you recommend London? What are some of London’s benefits?  

Yes, highly encourage. Oh boy, so again you open your experience to a more localized culture which isn’t isolated. You learn how to be independent, that’s a huge thing, but you also learn how to navigate and become comfortable in a large city. If you don’t come for that, it’s somewhat of a culture shock. Another large thing is becoming more financially aware. You need to watch what you spend.

What is one piece of advice you would give to prospective students looking to study in London? (ex. don’t be afraid to explore alone, don’t pack your warmest jacket, be open minded)  

Definitely do it, I think it should be mandatory to study abroad. No one has said I never had fun. It’s an opportunity that might only come once in your time, so you might as well jump at it.

Any last comments?  

My stay in London was brilliant.

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