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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

It’s that time of the year again. School is officially in session, and we’re starting to settle into a new routine which consists of classes, exams, and assignments, all while balancing personal responsibilities. These busy times have me reminiscing and deeply missing summer vacation.

I spent my summer in London as a part of a study abroad program. Before this trip, I’d heard about college study abroad programs but it was never something that had seemed like a real possibility. Considering school and personal responsibilities, I never truly considered applying for a study abroad program or felt that I had the time. Last spring was the first time I considered taking a class abroad, as this class not only aligned with my schedule, but also would be stationed at a place I’ve always dreamed of going to. 

After I found out I was accepted into the program, I had many reservations and concerns about my upcoming trip. In all honesty, perhaps one of the biggest struggles I had was fitting my clothes and purses into my suitcase.

I also worried my class would be fast-paced and demanding, and I wouldn’t have time to actually explore and sightsee. Fortunately, this was not the case. My class would be held from Mondays to Thursdays, typically ran for about four hours a day and would be over by noon. I had plenty of time to complete any class work and was given the rest of the day to explore the London sites.

Besides museum trips and going to see a few plays, we didn’t take class trips. Outside of class, we were able to sightsee and learn how to navigate the city on our own. I do believe I learned from the class, but not nearly as much as I learned from London, its people, and the overall experience. 

It was incredible to be able to take a class on a subject you have a deep interest in while getting to learn about a new culture in a different country. For many, a trip like this can cause one to feel homesick, especially for a trip this long. A few classmates of mine also expressed missing the familiarity of home and of the United States. I found it comforting to know that nearly all of the students in my class were also from Berkeley, since other schools participated in the program, and that many of us were experiencing studying abroad in London for the first time. 

Through this experience, I got to meet new people from all over the world and made memories that’ll last a lifetime. Overall, I had a really positive experience with UC Berkeley’s study abroad program and would recommend it to anyone considering applying!

Siannah Buendia

UC Berkeley '24

Siannah is a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in English. She is currently a copy editor and writer for the Berkeley chapter. You can catch her shopping with a Starbucks Pink Drink in hand, listening to Harry Styles, or exploring new places with her friends in her free time. Siannah is deeply passionate about writing, literature, and fashion. She is excited to be a part of the Her Campus team!