During my senior year, I was afforded an opportunity to intern for CNBC Europe headquartered in London, England. After graduation, I was hired as a Program Assistant at the FSU London Study Center. I was fortunate to have lived and worked in an environment that was so different and distant from the comforts of home. Not only did I gain valuable work experience, but I was exposed to a new world that encompassed novel cultures, tastes, sights, and sounds. Although, I had traveled with my parents throughout the United States, our travels did not compare to the thrill of living abroad. It was through Florida State’s program I gained a love for musical theater; indulged in rich cuisines such as Indian, Lebanese, and Greek; toured great historic sites such as the Towers of London, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace; led day excursions to Cambridge, Windsor Castle, and Stonehenge; traveled independently to Spain, Italy, and France; and, met endearing friends whom I still visit on vacation.
Living in London was a rewarding and an invaluable experience. I learned about diversity and the simplicities of life. I learned how to be independent and adventurous. Most importantly, I learned there was a world that existed beyond my dreams and imagination. It is difficult to put into words this once-in-a-lifetime exposure, but I can encourage others to go and experience it first-hand. I am thankful to my alma mater for allowing me the opportunity and to my family, friends, and mentors who supported me along the way. Many moons have passed since I lived abroad but I am still reaping the benefits of that incredible, unforgettable journey.
Kathelon Toliver is Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost.