Coming to SC as an engineering student, I never thought I would have the opportunity to study abroad with a heavy engineering course load and the pressure of not wanting to miss out on an amazing semester on campus. However, after living in London for the past 7 weeks taking engineering courses and exploring Europe, I realized that the Viterbi Overseas program was able to afford me the experience of a lifetime and I am so glad I was a part of the group chosen to go!
Viterbi Overseas is a 7 week program in which students take two engineering courses while living in a location abroad. While this years group lived in London, past groups have stayed in Paris and Rome, and the program offers many opportunities for your own individual travel. Here’s a quick recap of the trip complete with lots of pictures (several selfies included)!
Hitting the ground running, our group went on a bus tour our first full day in the city. We got to stop by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and walked across the Millenium Bridge to get a close up view of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Eager to explore more, a bunch of us planned a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland for our first weekend in Europe. The country was beautiful, with green as far as you could see, and we walked over 13 miles during the weekend exploring the city’s historic monuments and gorgeous landscapes. I also discovered a new favorite food, Haggis!
After our second week of classes, ten of us ventured off to Budapest, Hungary for our first long weekend of travel. The city was absolutely amazing, and everything a college kid wants in a weekend trip. Our Airbnb was $10 per person each night, and we had gourmet three course meals for less than $30! The people were so friendly and the views on the Danube river were breathtaking; I will definitely be visiting again.
Once again we found ourself on yet another weekend excursion around Europe, this time in Paris as part of the program’s planned weekend cultural experience. One of the coolest things about Viterbi Overseas is that Viterbi plans multiple cultural events for you such as theatrical plays, day trips, and one long weekend trip to a nearby country or city. Paris was obviously a blast, and my favorite parts were rowing a boat in the Gardens of Versailles and sitting under the Eiffel Tower for hours watching it light up with live music being played on the lawn. Once again I ventured out with my food choices and had escargot and pork cheek, both of which were fantastic!
After three straight weekends of travel, myself and a few others decided that we should probably stay in London for the rest of the trip and see what’s so great about the city. If I could do it all over again I would have stayed in London for the first weekend or two to get my bearings about me because there is so much amazing stuff to do in London it is unbelievable! Two of my favorite and most frequently visited spots were Camden Market and the Natural History Museum. Camden Market has amazing street food ranging from Indian Naan Wraps to doughy Dutch pancakes drenched in Nutella and powdered sugar to complement the unique multicultural and vintage shopping experience. As a sucker for all things natural, the Natural History Museum had the best interactive and informative dinosaur exhibit I’ve ever seen, and the Treasures and Gem collections were awesome (they have a first edition copy of The Origin of Species, safe to say I nerded out pretty hard). Beyond those small experiences, my summer in London created so many memories that I will never forget. I could go on and on about everything I did, but instead you can look at pictures of a few highlights of my time in the UK.
While I spent a lot of my time in Europe exploring different places and cultures, I also really enjoyed the academic aspect of the trip. I was able to take Writing 340 and ISE 460 to satisfy my university writing requirement and a technical elective requirement and earn 6 more credits towards my degree, all while making the most out of being abroad. The class setup in the program is great because you really get to connect with your professors in a small, personal class setting, and it’s a great way to connect with engineering students who you would never have class with normally because of your differing majors.
And since 7 weeks wasn’t enough, my family made it out to Europe and we are in the midst of our family vacation around Italy! So far we have been to Venice and Florence, and are currently on the beautiful island of Capri. We are traveling to Rome in a few days to complete the trip, and you can follow @FightOnBudde on twitter if you want to see some awesome picture updates. As for the rest of my summer I will be heading off to Oxford, Ohio in a few weeks to serve as a Peer Mentor for my fraternity’s yearly leadership conference, and then head home to Phoenix to unwind (and unjetlag) before heading back to LA! I’m sad for my summer travels to come to and end, but I’m stoked for another great fall semester, and of course another season of Trojan football.
See y’all in August! Fight On!