Center for International Programs- Study Abroad

Student Profile: Yasemin Erkan- Birkbeck College, London, England


Major(s): Marketing

Minor(s): Psychology

Abroad Program: Birckbeck College

Where: London, England

When: Fall 2012

What was a typical day like for you while abroad?

I had two ‘typical’ days while I was abroad. I had my school day and my intern day. For my school day I would wake up around 8 am, get ready, eat breakfast and be on the tube by 9:15 am to make my 10 am class. The tube ride was about a 20 minutes with about a 10 minutes walking time to class. The way my program was structured was that students had three-hour blocks of classes that would meet once a week. On Mondays I would have two classes and on Tuesday I would have one class. My classes were a combination of lecture and discussion, which I personally enjoyed. On Mondays I would have an hour between my 2 three-hour classes, which gave me enough time to eat lunch and meet up with my second class. On Tuesdays I would do school work in the morning, run errands, or visit various locations throughout London until 2 pm when I met with my class. For my intern day, I would also wake up around 8 am, get ready, eat and be on the tube by 9:15 am to be at my internship by 10 am on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I interned at AT Showroom, which was a fashion marketing and public relations firm. While at my internship I would do a variety tasks such as filling out sample requests, pulling samples, updating spreadsheets, delivering items and researching brands. I would get an hour for lunch and work until 5 pm. After my school day/internship I would meet up with my housemates either in our kitchen and cook together or go out to one of our favorite restaurants in the area. After dinner I would hang out with my housemates, do school work or catch up with my friends and family back home. Every night I tried to be in bed by 11 pm so I could wake up and start my day all over again!

Describe your living situation.

While aboard, I lived in an amazing house in Notting Hill with 30 other students form a variety of different colleges throughout the United States. In that house I was assigned to live with two other girls, one from Saint Joseph's and the other from Franklin & Marshall. Although I never met either of the girls, we ended up becoming very close throughout our time abroad and still stay in contact today. The house had a large living area where all the housemates would gather and hang out as well as a kitchen where we would eat our meals together. Each floor had two bathrooms and four bedrooms with a range of one person to four people in a room. All the housemates got along very well and would end up doing everything together from playing soccer in the park to going on weekend trips. Throughout our time aboard we all became very close and to this day, we speak and visit each other regularly. Over all my living experience was better then I could have ever imagined.

What is one piece of advice you would pass on to a student who is about to study abroad?

The piece of advice I would have to pass on to a student who is going to study aboard is to do everything you want to do. You are only in this country for a certain amount of time so make the most of the experiences you chose to have. If that means making a list of the top 10 things you want to do while your abroad, make it and stick to it. It’s easy to become distracted by other things going on but you have to remember that this is your own personal experience and you need to make the most of it for yourself. Although some of the things you may want to do cost money (perhaps a lot…) you can budget for them. A lot of the time there is a student discount everywhere you go and a lot of the really interesting things may be free. Do some research before you go abroad so you can have an idea of what you want to do as well as how much it may cost so you can start saving up for it. You don’t want to miss out on any of the things you really want to do and look back on your time thinking, “I wish I did that!” Remember: enjoy yourself and make the most of it, you’re only there for a short amount of time!