Meet Kelly – University College London – UCL

Kelly Nielsen

University College London Exchange

Full Academic Year 2012-2013

About Me:  Last autumn, after devoting eight years to high-level athletics, I felt that I was ready for a change.  I wanted to see what more life can offer me, and vice versa.  So I quit – I quit so I could start something new.   Now, come September, I will do my junior year of undergrad in London, England.

Where in the world I am off to:  I am enrolling as any other international student at University College London, located in the heart of the city, where I will study History.  As both the city and the school are considered very global in nature, I hope to encounter more cultures than if I were in a more isolated program.  Furthermore, I plan to use weekends and breaks to explore the UK and the rest of Europe!

Why I chose this place:  The biggest draw London holds for me is its history.  When I visited London four years ago I loved seeing the layers of history at every turn.  I am from Seattle – a young city on the youngest coast of a young country – so moving to a two thousand year old city to study history is simply unbeatable.  When I decided to study abroad last November, London was immediately my unquestioned first choice.

What I am most excited about:  I am most excited to get to know London itself.  While the new people, travels, adventures, and knowledge I’ll experience abroad will be rewarding, there is a reason I chose London as my backdrop for all of those.  I am looking forward to engaging with this fascinating city as more than a tourist, so that it becomes a part of my life and I a part of its.

My goals and motivations:  Forcing myself out of my comfort zone and gaining real independence was a big push in deciding to study abroad.  Moving to any new place would be beneficial in this regard – I am just particularly fortunate that London is my destination!

What I hope readers gain from my posts:  While abroad, I want to take particular notice of all the small delights that will surround and ultimately define my experiences.  I hope to share my small appreciations and observations here.  So, hopefully, readers will get to experience with me the quirks, secrets, and personalities I encounter in London, and beyond.