Study Abroad and Global Education

Mary Chawaga

Ask me where I've been: England

Major(s) Art History
Hobbies Reading, Coffee, Journaling
Hometown Haverford, PA
Program/Study Site IFSA Butler: University College London
Mary Chawaga | England

Why study abroad?

It was time for me to get out of Claremont, live more independently and experience something different. Art history is a great major in terms of travel: there’s so much art to go see and experience first hand no matter what type of art is your favorite.

Why did you choose England?

I love European art. I didn’t have the language requirement fulfilled to go somewhere like France or Italy but London has so many free museums, not to mention the yBAs, and it’s so easy to travel around Europe from there. It’s a big city, not too much change culturally, with lots of things happening all the time.

What courses did you enroll in while abroad?

  • Advanced lecture in art history: Early Modern Europe
  • Questions of Feminism in Contemporary Art
  • Sculpture in Motion (each class period we met at a different museum)
  • Making, Exchanging and Evaluating Art in Europe

What was your living situation?

I lived in a UCL flat with 5 other students who I shared a kitchen with. I had my own room with my own bathroom. Laundry, mailroom, lounge area were all shared with the other residents.

What did you do for fun?

I went to lots of museums, lots of beautiful parks, and there are lots of historical monuments to see. Lots of shopping is available but very expensive. There are lots of coffee shops/ pubs to find and explore.

Highlights of the program:

I made lots of friends from my program, it’s easy to travel around beyond London but London’s transportation is awesome within the city. The IFSA Butler staff are amazing, always available and super helpful

The most challenging aspects of your experience:

Managing money, it’s something I wasn’t very good at before I went and should have worked harder on while I was there. I wish I had planned my meals/groceries more carefully and stuck to it, then it would have been less stressful going out/traveling because I would have more money to spend.

Final comments or suggestions for future participants:

Try and be outgoing. British students are nice but can be independent, especially if you’re abroad in the Spring, since they’ve already started the school year and are settled in. London is full of opportunity so don’t feel bad if you’re not able to do everything, as long as you feel like you’re making the most of your abroad experience, you’ll look back on it with no regrets. I can’t wait until I’m able to get back to London!!


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