Amber J. Cuff, 25
Alma Mater: Undergrad: Howard University (2011), Graduate: Drexel University (2014)
Year You Went Abroad: 2013
Location and Duration: London, England, UK; Summer, about two and a half months
BlackEnterprise.com: Did you always want to study abroad, or is it something you decided to do after you started college?
Cuff: I actually never thought about it, but I love to travel and I’ve always wanted to go to London. When my professor suggested it, a light went off in my head. I just had to try it out!
How did you prepare to go abroad? Did your school help?
Once my advisor confirmed that my study abroad could be credited, it was pretty much up to me to handle the rest. I did lots of research on the neighbourhood that I would be staying in. I researched the transportation system to see how I would get to and from classes and how to change my phone over to the UK network. I even learned that pick-pocketing was one of the most common crimes, so I found ways of comfortably securing valuables on my person, such as my money and iPhone, and I knew to leave my passport in a secure place at my flat.
Did you speak a language, other than your native tongue, while you were away?
English is the first language in London. However, during a week visiting Paris I definitely stumbled through French.
Who did you stay with?
I stayed in a flat (apartment) with eight other young ladies from Hong Kong, Japan, and the U.S.
What were you expecting before you actually got there?
Although it was a place I had dreamed about going for many years, I didn’t actually know what to expect. I think I expected it to be gloomy and rainy and quite a conservative place, or maybe I watched Parent Trap to many times while growing up. I didn’t know what to expect from my studies, I just knew that LCF was a prestigious school for fashion and I was ready to learn everything I could.
At what university did you study?
I studied at The London College of Fashion.
What was it like to attend classes?
It was interesting. The British have a lot of pride and they love being British, so it was very interesting to hear their take on the fashion industry and how business is done in the UK. My classmates came from all over the world so it was also great to hear all of their perspectives as well. My classes were not difficult, however, my professors only expected the best and they made that very clear. I really loved it because it forced me to push even harder. I don’t think I ever expected to pull so many all-nighters during my time studying abroad.
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