Traveling has always been a huge part of my life, but I never imagined I would have the opportunity to study abroad as a graduate nursing student. I love to travel and enjoy experiencing new places and cultures while making memories. I began traveling at a young age when my older sister and I would accompany our mom when she traveled for her national education conferences. Those trips were some of my favorite summer vacations!

When I saw the application for the nursing student London Study abroad trip, I texted my family and asked if I should apply. Obviously, they said yes since I love to travel! I was so excited to receive my acceptance letter stating I had been selected for the trip. London had not previously been on my travel bucket list, but I soon learned it was a great place for solo travel.

The week leading up to departure, I found myself a little nervous. This was to be my first visit to Europe, and I didn’t know if I had packed appropriately for the weather, but I was eager to immerse myself in British culture for a week. Once off the plane, I was so excited to meet the other nursing students in the cohort and start sightseeing. Of the 20 students on the trip, seven of us were graduate students. After checking into our hotel, my roommate, who is in the same graduate program as me, and I hit the ground running. The first day we went to Notting Hill and saw the beautiful pastel buildings and immersed ourselves in the immense shopping culture. We familiarized ourselves with the tube station and ate some great food. After our first full day in London, I was excited to see what more the city had to offer!

During class the next day, we had an instructor-led and open forum discussion on British healthcare versus American Healthcare. This lecture prepared us for the upcoming days in which we made visits to the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. It was interesting to see these glamorous hospitals within the private healthcare system in London. We had the opportunity to talk with different women within the hospital systems who have worked their way up the corporate ladder. They shared how starting as bedside nurses contributed to their success now as leaders of the cardiovascular advanced practices and director of nursing.

Following our lectures and visits to the hospitals and Florence Nightingale Museum, we were granted ample time to sightsee. London is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re into history, art, fashion or food, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. I loved every moment of getting lost in its charming streets and discovering hidden gems around every corner.

One of the many perks of this study abroad experience was its proximity to so many awesome places and cities. I even completed a 5K during this trip, crossing run a race in a different country off my bucket list in the process!

On our free day, Kent State University College of Nursing faculty member Taryn Burhanna and I took the Eurostar to Paris, France, for a day trip. While I enjoyed immersing myself in another country, 12 hours is not nearly enough time! From sightseeing to the breathtaking Louvre and more shopping, I had the best time! I am so grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the friends I’ve made to the memories I’ve created, studying abroad in London was truly a dream come true. As they say in London, Cheers!