Preparing for a New Environment – Simpson Experience Abroad in London 2013

Greetings everyone! My name is Ryan Rohlf, and I am a senior marketing and public relations double major at Simpson. As part of my Simpson experience, I am spending this fall in London, England, through the Simpson Semester Abroad Experience program. This is one of the many life-changing semester abroad experiences Simpson has to offer, and I am excited to take part in it as we embark on our adventure at our host campus, Roehampton University.

During my time at Roehampton, I will be posting about my experiences on this blog. In capturing my experience abroad, I hope to showcase the many exciting opportunities and adventures that you may have if you choose to travel abroad during your time at Simpson. From what I have heard from friends and past study abroad students, I’m in for an exciting, eye-opening and life-changing experience.

One of the things I am most excited about during my adventure in London is the opportunity to truly become submersed in British culture. As an Iowa native, I’ve never traveled to far from home; so I am definitely in for a big change as I approach the most diverse city in the world! And even though we share the same language, cultural differences abound.

My study abroad goal, and one that I think many students will share with me, is to come back to Simpson with a better understanding of different environments and different cultures around the world. I will be challenged with a different way of doing things while I am at Roehampton, and though I know it will be hard at first, I realize that I will come back a much stronger and more confident person.

Because let’s face it, there are tons of times in life where you will end up in a new environment; and it is likely that you will be expected to learn an adapt quickly if you wish to succeed. College is a great example of a new environment. Your first career will be another new environment. Yet another new environment can be a switch in careers or companies or even being offered a big promotion at work. If you don’t have the willingness to listen to those around you and truly learn about the environment (the new environment you have joined), your transition to that environment will be very difficult.

Having to adapt to a different culture is not easy, but it does provide a lot of benefits that will follow me through the rest of my life. For example, my unease with my surroundings will require me to adapt and learn quickly. It will provide me with the opportunity to have learning experiences that transcend what I learned in the classroom, and it will force me to step back and listen to seek understanding of my cultural surroundings.

In the end, I will come back with fantastic experience under my belt, some amazing new friends and an awesome resume-building experience. I have a feeling it will truly show prospective employers that I’m not afraid of learning new things! So, what are you waiting for? There are few opportunities in life for you to truly become submersed in a culture. I hope you will all attend the Study Abroad Fair at Simpson, and I strongly encourage you to consider the benefits of studying abroad for a semester.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you through this blog, and I truly hope that after reading my posts you will consider making the journey abroad for yourself. If you would like to read more about my experience in the most diverse city in the world, check back weekly for new posts! You can find additional content on my blog, ryanrohlf.wordpress.com. Or you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, @rrohlf91, where I will be posting photos and other findings from my adventure. Enjoy your semester!

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