Raphael Bongni
BS in Computer Science and Engineering
BA in Economics
Queen Mary University, London, England

My semester in London has been an extremely enriching experience, and has certainly given me an insight into a university system that is very different to that of the US. I spend much less time in the classroom (10 hours as opposed to 20 hours at Bucknell), but most of the learning takes place individually outside of the classroom. This was difficult to get used to at first, as I had a lot of “free” time on my hands, and I had to be extremely disciplined, but I feel that it has prepared me for the real world.

Study Abroad in LondonThere are also quite a lot of holidays here at Queen Mary, so I’ll be leaving next week for a 3 week tour of Europe. It’s extremely easy to jump onto a train or a plane and visit most major European cities within a couple of hours. These first-hand cultural encounters cannot be taught in the classroom, and all these experiences have certainly prepared me for living in today’s global economy.

On a similar note, the students in my classes are extremely diverse, and come from every corner of the globe. This is also true for the students in my flat. They are from Russia, Italy, Algeria, Spain and the U.S., and we have many late night discussions about the world’s political situation. It’s great listening to each person’s perspective, and also tasting each other’s food! I have definitely a more open mind about several of today’s world issues.

Living in London has probably been the greatest thing about my study abroad experience. This is truly one of the most influential cities in the world, and such a contrast from Lewisburg, PA. My Architecture in London class takes us into the city every other week with our professor to learn about the important monuments in London. This has been a real eye-opener, and we’ve had first-hand experience into the fascinating history of London.