AMHS Alumna’s Study Abroad Experience

What studying abroad in college is really like from the perspective of AMHS Alumna, Allyson Bush


Allyson day-tripped to Stonehenge from London

For many students, studying abroad in college is an exciting prospect. The opportunity to experience new cultures, food, languages, and meet new people studying abroad is often the highlight of student’s four years in college. For one AMHS alumna, Allyson Bush, a senior at Queens University of Charlotte double majoring in Creative Writing and Communications, her semester in London this past Spring was not only the epitome of excitement during her time in college, but also her life.

Allyson spent January-May this year at Regent’s University in London. Located in Regent’s Park in the heart of the city, Allyson was immersed in the culture of London and urban living in England. Over the coarse of her five months in London, Allyson fell in love with the city, so much so she now plans to move to Europe after graduating in the Spring. I interviewed Allyson about her experience and she provided some interesting insight into studying abroad in college:

How was living in London?

“Ok so, 1. London is amazing. Best city ever. 2. The public transportation was hands down my favorite part of the city. The tube, buses, and trains made it so easy and so fun to go places. 3. Not only was it easy to get around London, but it was so easy to travel around Europe. 4. I loved living in a park, it was the perfect location. London’s parks are beautiful and there’s so many and they’re so big.”

Allyson spent time in Venice on a trip around Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal over spring break

Did you like British food?

“The FOOD oh my god ok Britain has a reputation for their food being bland and brown and boring which can be true but all the other food is so fresh and tastes so much better than American food because its way less processed.”

How did the people compare to people in America?

“The people are way more conscious of world events than Americans are. I had a lot of people ask me about American politics and Trump but if I wanted to ask the same thing to them I wouldn’t have known what to ask because I have no idea what’s going on in the French or German government right now.”

London was a place where, from the second I stepped off the plane, I felt at home. From Regent’s Park to Westminster, from Notting Hill to Greenwich, I belonged there.

— Allyson Bush, AMHS Alumna and Queen's University of Charlotte Senior

Did you travel any outside of London during the semester?

“I went to 8 different countries besides England while I was there because flights were dirt cheap. Like I think my flight to Dublin was £23. 4.”

Where there any negative aspects of your experience?

“There were too many Americans at my school, I didn’t meet any British people studying there, and it was weird living without a roommate. London itself was expensive too.”

“Also, the European school system was confusing to me at first because they don’t go to 100 like we do, they go to 80. So an 80 is a 100, a 70 a 90, etc. So I would get like a 64 on an assignment and freak out before I remembered that’s a B.”

A failed attempt to capture an iconic Paris photo

How has your study abroad impacted you as a person?

“It’s impacted me in the sense that I learned how to be flexible and how to adapt. On our spring break travels, so many things went wrong, but at the end of the day, we just had to see the problem and figure out a different solution.”

“Like in Marseille when we accidentally locked our luggage in the train station luggage hold overnight, we ended up having to walk over a mile through a sketchy part of town in a country where we didn’t speak the language and get to a hotel because all the hostels were full.”

What has your study abroad taught you about traveling in general?

“How to pack light. By the end of my semester, I could pack for a week using only my backpack.”

Overall, Allyson fell in love with London and thinks anyone who has the opportunity to embark on a study abroad during college should do so. Studying abroad opened Allyson’s eyes to new cultures and people and allowed her to make international friendships and connections-an experience she will always cherish.