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Charles Fitzgerald

History

BA History Charles FitzgeraldDegree?

 History BA Hons

Graduation year?

 2016

Year of Placement?

 2014-15

Country you went to study abroad?

 United States of America

Type of exchange and where?

Georgia State University, Atlanta, Ga, USA

Duration of study abroad?

1 year

What do you consider to be the most valuable part of your study abroad experience?

Studying at Georgia State University in the heart of Downtown Atlanta was an extremely rewarding and valuable experience. During my tenure at GSU I had the opportunity to work, meet and network with a variety of great people through my job as a Student Assistant at the English Department and as a student taking classes. This allowed me to form lifelong friends and relationships across the globe.

What advice would you give to others considering study abroad?

I would advise other students to strongly consider where they want to go, choosing a place to work/study is difficult and once you're placed hard to get out of. Studying/working abroad is an extremely rewarding experience, but it comes with its challenges. When advising another person considering a program like the one I completed, I would suggest they are 100 percent sure they want to go because if they are, it will be the best decision they will ever make.

What did you enjoy the most?

The United States and Atlanta offered me many opportunities that I otherwise would have been unable to have access to. During my time at Georgia State I got to travel both the Eastern and Western seaboards, going to places such as New York, Boston, Savannah, San Diego, San Francisco and San Luis. This helped to give me an even broader understanding of American culture and a different perspective on my own native one.

What did you do when you weren't studying

Outside of work and study, I did a range of different activities to fill in my time. Whilst I was out there, I was lucky enough to meet my girlfriend Olivia, who soon took up almost all of my spare time. Together the two of us regularly attended rock concerts seeing the likes of Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac and The Who and explored the greater Atlanta areas such as Midtown, Buckhead and Decatur. Whilst alongside eating out in restaurants, going to the cinema and seeing American sports games such as Football and Baseball.

Who did you learn the most from during your study abroad experience?

My study abroad experience at Georgia State University was an huge learning curve for me as an individual both academically and personally. Academically, I was able to take a range of classes that would have usually have been inaccessible to me as a History student at Northumbria such as Religious Studies, History of Art, Literature and Culture classes at a university level. this is something that has enhanced my university experience and given me a deeper understanding of topics id only previously been self educated in. Personally, study abroad made me realise my full potential as an individual and how much work I am capable of taking on and doing well in. The work load at Georgia State was intense, especially alongside a part time job and a relationship, the program taught me how to effectively balance my time, a skill of great use in final year of university. 

How did your study abroad experience contribute to your employability skills?

Studying abroad has helped bolstered my employability, aside from being able to put on my CV that I have lived, worked and studied in the United States, I also gained a range of professional skills that I will carry forward into my future career when I graduate in summer 2016. These include but are not limited to: networking, event co-ordination, organising meetings and scheduling.

How did your study abroad experience contribute to your personal development?

My study abroad experience has been by far the most important event to shape my personal development. I arrived in Atlanta as a relatively doubtful and cynical person, unconfident about my future and my potential. However during my time at Georgia State and grasping the opportunities I was presented with gave me a new sense of self belief and optimism and made me realise just how much I am able to achieve as long as I set myself a goal and consistently keep working towards it.


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