United Kingdom: Calvin Dong (First Impressions)

Within the first week, I experienced the unfamiliarity that I hoped studying abroad would bring me. City University organized a Welcome Reception that provided an opportunity for interpersonal interactions with all the international students. A room filled with individuals speaking various world languages all came together to exchange stories, experiences, and most importantly, our differences. From this, I was able to develop new friendships with 3 students from France. We would converse in English, but occasionally they would speak to each other in French. This experience opened my eyes to how intrigued I was when I listened in on their conversations. It made me reflect on why my friends back home are always dead silent and carefully listening when I would speak in Chinese to my parents. For once, I was on the other side, I had no idea what my new friends were saying, but I loved every second that I got listening to them speaking French. When they offered to teach me some simple phrases in French, I returned the favor by teaching them phrases in Chinese. We did this throughout the day as we traveled from the University Event to tourist locations nearby. The day began with lots of unfamiliar faces and languages but ended with new friends and an understanding of new simple phrases in French!

Calvin Dong 

Hometown: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Major: Marketing & International Business

Program: IES London Direct Enrollment – City University of London

I chose City University of London because it will allow me to take on the challenge of facing uncertainty in a large city with people from diverse backgrounds. Growing up, I’ve lived predominately in the suburbs which refrained me from experiencing what city life is like. I strive to utilize the location and vast amount of culture immersed within London to learn and enjoy the unique experiences it will provide me.