Horns meet World. World meet Monica Gupta. Monica is a 4th year Public Health and Nursing major here at UT Austin. She studied abroad her freshman year summer through the London Internship Program. Here is what she has to say about her experience.
Living in one of the biggest and most diverse cities gave me the ability to meet and work with people from all over the world. Located in west London, Chelsea was the perfect location to live because not only was it a 10 minute tube ride to the major high streets in London, it also allowed access to some of the best museums and parks in the world. From various cultural foods, music festival, sighting of royals, to thousand-year-old historic landmarks, it was almost impossible to get bored!
For my internship, I was matched to teach math and science at the Chelsea Community Hospital school, a school entirely funded by the British healthcare system established for pediatric patients physically or mentally unable to attend regular schools. Each day brought a new student with a new experience. The school I taught at had children from all over the world who had been flown in by local nonprofits for treatment not available in their home countries. In one class, I could teach a British student suffering from mental health issues to a student from Uganda preparing for an operation to cure his congenital heart defect. A typical morning ranged anywhere from class field trips, algebra lessons, to recording “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel for a music project. You could visibly see the children on the ward light up when you walked in with your iPad and materials.
While my weeks were busy taking classes and interning, my weekends were usually free to explore surrounding cities and countries. The greatest thing about studying abroad in London was how accessible everything was. From being able to find an underground tube stop every block to taking a twenty dollar bus ride to a different country, not only was traveling efficient but also affordable! My favorite weekend abroad was spent in a tiny town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire, England also known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution. A friend and I had been paired with the Lovedays, an elderly couple in northern England. For a full weekend, they took care of us like their grandchildren and allowed us to experience what it meant to be English. From attending coffee mornings, watching Andy Murray serve his winning point over homemade bread and marmalade, to hiking the hills of Much Wenlock, I was able to gain a broader perspective of British life.
Being able to immerse myself in the English culture, throwing the best s’more making parties in a hospital, learning about one of the most effective healthcare systems in the world, and traveling to over 7 countries all in one summer, studying abroad in London has been one of the best things I have done at UT.
If you liked reading about Monica’s internship experience but still aren’t 100% sold, click here to see what other students had to say about their internships abroad as well. Keep checking our blog to see where in the world our Horns pop up next!