Off-Campus Study Peer Advisors
Meet and speak with the 2013-2014 peer advisors from 2-4 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Krutika Ravi London Econ: Spring 2013
I did not anticipate studying abroad in England to be a huge culture shock; two weeks into my program, I knew that was not right. Some of my most memorable experiences abroad were from teaching my British friends about American culture (beyond what Hollywood taught them) and learning about their culture and mannerisms. What was truly humbling was that despite all the cultural differences, there was always some common point of interest we could use as a connection.
London fosters a huge cosmopolitan population and studying abroad there made sure that everyone I met was very different from each other and yet, shared similar British mannerisms. Studying abroad made me extremely receptive to having conversations with everyone I meet about their beliefs and values; it also encouraged me to be more introspective about my own viewpoints on just about everything.
Before London, I was a Biochemistry major on a pre-medical track, completely set on medical school. The London Econ program offered me so many opportunities to explore career options that I am currently more focused on getting some more experience in the real world before I move on to grad school. My study abroad experience also made me more aware of the necessity to think critically about the world (because the Colgate bubble can be somewhat isolating) and explore more about what I enjoy doing in life and the options available for me before being set on a particular career path.
Madrid: Fall 2012
After returning to Westchester, NY from Madrid, Spain, certain things about my life became a bit clearer. Abroad, I was without the comforts of my family, my home, my car, my go-to diner and movie theater, my friends, and even my native language. Every destination and every conversation was something new and something to transcend. Surviving the city of Madrid allowed me to come home with a new sense of self sufficiency, self confidence, and patience. It is more clear to me than ever that I have a lot to be thankful for as a USA citizen, and also clear that I am someone who can adapt to and appreciate life in another region of the world.
I have learned that my way of life is one that I am used to and most comfortable in, but that there are many options and opportunities beyond it. Studying abroad showed me that there are endless varieties of people, and that not all can be classified in any one way or another. I think it is important to remember that no person’s identity can fit neatly within a check box. What’s more, certain labels might mean one thing to some people, and a different thing to others. For example, what it means to be “rich” or “straight” or even “native” will entail different boundaries and connotations to different peoples.
After coming back from Madrid I feel more comfortable in my own skin. I feel like I’ve had a taste of a whole different life that mine might have somehow been. Clearly, the options and paths I am capable of taking in my life are nearly limitless. Plus, now I am bilingual!
Anthony Tamburro London History: Spring 2013
Experiencing London while on the Colgate History Study Group fundamentally altered the way I look at both the world and at myself. London is a city with many stories to tell. It is the epicenter of British and English society as well as one of the world’s truly global cities. As a result, one can easily see the world from dozens of different points of view, often times on the same street! Hundreds of different social groups find their homes in London, and seeing the way they interact cohesively and peacefully was a surprising revelation. If I learned one thing in London, it was to never make assumptions!
Outside of the classroom, I had a fantastic time taking in the English pastimes of sport and ale while taking in the historical sites such as Greenwich and the Tower of London. One sometimes finds it hard to fully appreciate the popular mindset of a different culture without fully integrating oneself into it. As a historian, this integration is an extremely useful tool. It is one thing to read about the nightly bombings on London during the summer of 1940, but it is another thing entirely to talk to a cab driver whose father lost his home to the Luftwaffe, or to touch buildings pock-marked with shrapnel seventy years later. These little instances of events or experiences that are completely unique to a foreign country pop up in sometimes unexpected ways, but are fantastic ways to judge just how different one culture may be from your own. Being able to see the landscape-- both physical and metaphorical-- of a culture’s development really allows one to appreciate the challenges and realities that its people face every day.
From a career standpoint, my time in London will prove to be invaluable. Not only will having studied abroad stand out on a resume, but my time doing professional research in the National Archives and National Maritime Museum will give me a leg up when it comes to graduate school applications. With luck, this will translate into a running start once I begin working for a doctorate in History.