Alycia Low

Alycia Low

Alycia Low (alum)
Major: Public Relations and Minored in Professional and Technical Writing
Term Abroad: Fall 2017
Program / Location: SJSU Exchange University of Roehampton, London, UK
Position Title: Recruiting Coordinator
Employer: Roblox

How did your study abroad experience help you with your coursework once you returned to SJSU?
Overall I think my experience helped me become more confident when it came to social interactions with my classmates. It also helped me see things from a different perspective. Having gone abroad, I recognized that there were other ways to approach questions I had about the world.

How did your study abroad experience help strengthen your job prospects?
It definitely helped me stand out as a candidate and was often a topic of conversation when interviewing. They would ask about my experience abroad and how that has shaped me. For me, studying abroad has really shaped the way I think about my career. It’s what led me to my position as a Study Abroad Student Assistant, which has helped me realize I want to go down this career path in recruiting/HR.

Please describe any skills you learned abroad that you are applying in your current academic, professional, or personal life.
Going abroad and having that experience has taught me how to have more grace and compassion for those around me who are from different parts of the world. While I was in the UK/Europe, I was a minority (as an Asian-American) and it helped me appreciate other cultures, including my own, even more!

What is the most memorable experience or moment from your time abroad?
During my last couple of weeks in the UK, I had the opportunity to travel alone in Scotland. This was probably one of the best decisions I had made. It taught me how to be self-sufficient and brought a whole new perspective on travelling. I had the unique experience of eating alone for consecutive meals, for example, and even asking fellow tourists/locals for directions or photos. Through this trip, I was also able to fully embrace the boldness I had learned over the past few months abroad, which helped me to be more confident in my social interactions and even my decisions.

What other experiences do you wish you had optimized while abroad to help you in your career path?
Although I had a great time in London, I do wish I had the opportunity to try living abroad for a longer period of time and maybe even challenge myself to go somewhere out of the ordinary. I also wish I was told that it’s okay not to travel all of Europe in that one semester, and that it’s okay to just sit and absorb what my home city has to offer. I was constantly travelling every weekend that I don’t feel like I truly got to experience London and all that it has to offer.

Any other advice to current Spartans about maximizing the study abroad experience? 
As I mentioned before, I’d highly encourage students to take time to really take in your home city/country. There’s so much your city has to offer and your program will be over before you know it, so really take it in. I think there’s a lot of pressure people put on folks (at least travelling to Europe) to explore as much as you can, but I really wish someone told me this before I planned all of these trips. This was my first time to Europe and I wish I had taken the time to get to know the folks and areas around me.

Abigail Alcain

Abigail Alcain

Abigail AlcainNAME: Abigail Alcain
MAJOR: Biological Sciences
TERM: Spring 2022
PROGRAM: SJSU Exchange University of Roehampton, UK

Why did you want to study abroad? 
Studying abroad looked like a great opportunity for me to experience new places and traveling as well as meeting new people from different backgrounds. I also wanted to use this opportunity to advance my career by connecting with the professors and programs that I’m able to participate in.

What has been your most surprising, positive, or challenging experience abroad?
A surprising experience that I have noticed is that I live on one of the four campuses here, and I live on the campus that’s far away from the main campus. I was surprised that this college was separated from all the others and distinctly far from the main one. But all my classes and labs are in my current college anyways so I don’t have to go to the main campus unless it’s for a social event or for the library. Another challenging experience is the transportation, all transportation is taken by bus or train, and I am not used to public transportation as much as I am now because that is how I get everywhere, and especially most places near me take about 30 minutes to an hour to get somewhere.

Any advice to potential study abroad students?
For potential study abroad students, would probably be to study what norms take place at that specific country beforehand. And definitely make sure all the financials are taking care of (such as if you need a new phone number/SIM card, a bank, transportation card). Also make sure you know where the nearest hospital is just in case.

How are you managing your academic success abroad during the pandemic?
I have managed to keep my academics controlled bye renting all the textbooks and materials required for my classes. I also depend on the online moodle (CANVAS) for notifications from professors as well as accessing the lectures and videos required.

What are some ways that you are interacting with the local community ?
I have definitely met many people within the community of my area, and they have helped me explore around London and we try new foods and visit in new places and overall had fun!

What are some tips for managing your health and safety while traveling during the pandemic?
Make sure to have your insurance on hand at all times, especially on your phone in case you have any major injuries. As well make sure you tell someone where you are at and never go alone.