My name is Candace, I am 24 years old, and in the Graduate Social Work program. I have always wanted to study abroad but the opportunity never came up. It was not until orientation that I was able to see myself leaving the states. I wanted to go to a diverse city where I could be submersed in different cultures and London has always been on my bucket list. When I approached Debra Nelson-Gardell, there were no programs that included London. I was determined and set on going there or nowhere at all. I researched and discovered a third party called The Intern Group. It was my hard work and research that encouraged the partnership with Alabama. Debra Nelson-Gardell was a great help in ensuring that this would be an appropriate program. I will be completing my internship at New Horizon Youth Center in London beginning in January!
I do not leave for another 7 weeks but I am feeling very anxious and scared. I have never flown or been out of the country so this entails many firsts for me. However, I am super excited to have this opportunity. I am interested to see how the transition period will be with my family and friends since I will be completely isolated from them for 4 months. I will still be able to text and video chat with them but it will be very different. I want to make a difference and I know that this will help me develop so many ways personally. Deciding what to pack for living in London for so long is proving to be a challenge! It is hard to decide what I need and what I can live without.
I am not sure what to expect upon arriving in London. I believe that it will be fine. The Intern Group has arranged everything for my safety. A security driver will pick me up from the airport and take me to the house they have reserved for me. They have cottage type houses and apartments for their interns and I will be living around all of the other interns that are with the Intern Group. The Intern Group has also setup outings for all of the interns so we can bond together and make some friends so we do not feel alone. The Intern Group has also arranged a few excursions that will immerse me in the London culture such as a tea party (exciting!) and a trip to the London Eye and London Bridge. I am super excited to meet everyone and get to know life in London. I am most excited to learn more about their healthcare so that I can compare it to ours here in the United States. I will continue to update the blog as instructed!