Christina Berry, a Southern California native, is no stranger to Worrell House, the academic house owned by Wake Forest in London. She studied here as an undergrad during the Fall of 2015. This semester, after an early graduation in December, she returned to the Worrell House for a second time as the Resident Assistant. When asked what inspired her to come back a second time, Christina said, “I noticed that there were clear divides in the group when I studied as an undergrad, and I feel like that was one aspect of the program that I wanted to change. I felt like my main goal as an RA was to make sure that everyone in this group felt included. Plus, this was an amazing opportunity in between graduation and going into my full-time job.”
The fact that Christina used her gap semester as a time to reflect on her own experience as an undergrad abroad barely speaks to her selflessness, kindness and wholesomeness. These characteristics were able to shine through even more when I asked Christina about her most memorable experience abroad as an undergrad. While most people would probably reflect on an insane party that they went to, or meeting up with a friend in a city, Christina’s most memorable experience is one that she could not gain elsewhere. “Suzanna, our theatre teacher, got us a tour of the Shakespeare Globe, and our class got to go on stage in The Globe. For one of our business classes, we had to memorize a speech from a Shakespeare play, and I memorized a speech in Hamlet. Coincidentally, my resident professor had memorized the exact same speech at a previous point in his life. We both recited the speech from Hamlet on the stage in Shakespeare Globe, and it was historic geek moment! No one really gets to go on the stage in the Shakespeare Globe, so that was really special for me.” The anecdote that Christina shared is unique to her experience abroad, and it should inspire anyone who is studying abroad to search for more meaningful and wholesome experiences that they could not gain anywhere else.
With this being said, Christina says the one piece of advice that she would give to an undergrad studying abroad is, “ Strike a balance between planning ahead of time and exploring cities freely because there are a lot of hidden treasures that you will stumble upon, whether it is in your host city or during your outside travels. The combination of planned activities and leisure wandering gives you a more authentic experience when traveling.” Christina has been to over 10 countries, with her favorite city being Salzburg, Vienna. She describes Salzburg by saying, “The natural view was spectacular. I climbed a mountain with breath-taking views. I met up with a local, and got local views on the city. It is a small city, but its surrounded with snow cap mountains that just take your breath away.” Christina hopes that she will be able to continue to travel throughout her career and wishes any prospective study abroad student the best of luck on their endeavors.
We wish Christina the best on her postgrad endeavors, as well!
Photos courtesy of Christina Berry