Far From Fisher – Dan Kelley
This semester, a total of 39 students are participating in the St. John Fisher College Study Abroad Program. They are in countries including England, The Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Italy, Costa Rica, and France, to name a few. Those participating come from a variety of majors, and we will hear from some throughout the spring.
Dan Kelley, a junior Accounting major, is currently studying in London, England, at the University of London.
Q: Why did you choose England?
A: To be honest, when I was choosing my destination, I was deciding among three places: Wales, Ireland, and London. Basically, I woke up one day and said to myself, “I’m going to London.” From there, I had to validate to myself that it was the right choice. There is a mixture of history with contemporary here; I can go see a movie premier and go to a chic dance hall the same day that I visited Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. I also decided that going to London and doing an internship would look better on my resume than, say, mountain climbing in Wales.
Q: How many classes are you taking? Do you find them to be harder there than here?
A: I am taking three classes and working at my internship two days a week. Classes are only held once a week, and due to my visa stipulations, I am not allowed to miss one. Classes are three hours long, so that is difficult in the middle of the day, especially on a rare day when the sun comes out. However, the seminars are very engaging and our tutors are intelligent and enthusiastic, which makes it much more tolerable.
Q: Have you done much sightseeing? Where?
A: I have done a lot of sightseeing, mainly in the heart of London. We have Fridays off, and my schedule is also free on Mondays, so I try to do most of my sightseeing on those days. I have seen the major sites in London: Buckingham Palace; Big Ben; Parliament; The London Eye; Kensington Gardens; and the West End. I am staying literally in the heart of London. The British Museum is less than five minutes away. I plan on seeing a lot more of the countryside as well. I have plans to visit Scotland and Dublin, Ireland. And once the term is over, I plan on exploring Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
Q: How would you compare your campus now to Fisher? Are you living on or off campus?
A: My campus is in the middle of the city, so everything is within walking distance, as opposed to having to drive or take a bus from Fisher just to get to Wegmans. I do have about a 10-minute walk when I go to class, but it seems there are always people walking here, so it’s not bad at all. Everyone, from businessmen to students, either walk or take public transportation at all hours of the day. The University of London is also much bigger than Fisher, and has a more diverse student body. Our dorms are actual flats that are five minutes from campus. They house students from countries around the world including Japan, India, Spain, and England.
Q: What do you miss most about Fisher?
A: This is an easy question: Fishbowl! The food is incredibly healthy here, and because I have to pay for all of my food myself, I do a lot less snacking. When we do try to get a late night snack, we have to go to McDonalds, and get a “Chicken-Mayo” (a McChicken, but an actual McChicken costs $3.50!) Even the fries taste healthier. There have been so many nights when the other Fisher student and I have longed for some mozzarella sticks or buffalo chicken tenders with our friends!
Q: Would you recommend studying abroad to other students?
A: Of course. If a semester program seems too long for you, I would even recommend one of the great summer programs Fisher offers. I participated in the France program this past summer, and came home completely changed. I feel different after my time here as well. You really gain an appreciation for home, while at the same time grow a tolerance for other cultures that is impossible to do in the United States. Also, you gain so much confidence in yourself in all aspects of life. Afterwards, you are not afraid to live on your own, you can solve problems by yourself, you are willing to try new things, and - this may sound cliché - but you learn a lot about yourself.
A view from the London Eye of Parliament and Big Ben.
Kelley at M&M World in Leicester Square. The M&M's were portraying the Beatles from Abbey Road.