Studying abroad in London: Brexit and business

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A number of undergraduate students from the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI spent their 2019 spring break studying abroad in London, during a course called UK: Brexit, Business, and Brits.

The program explores how business is conducted in the UK, examining the purpose and structure of the European Union and the potential impacts of Brexit.

Two students took a moment to reflect on the week abroad -- Read on to see the impact this study abroad experience had on each of them:

By: Brianna Heron, BS'21

With blowing wind that could knock you over, trashcans that were far and few between, and doors that seemed to be a push instead of a pull, each passing day in London made it easier to adjust to the subtle but interesting differences while exploring the city. Between learning about the Brexit deal and its implications with the European Union and other countries; company visits to organizations like Level 39, Dovu, and Verb; and other insightful experiences, the last week and a half was incredibly memorable.

It was clear to see within the first few hours that the group was antsy and excited to explore the city and take in the beautiful architecture of the various buildings spread across the entire city. Places like St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey really set a positive tone for this experience, and it was very difficult to leave this important chapter of our lives behind.

In addition to seeing the extraordinary architecture on the buildings, our class was given the opportunity to learn more about differing companies headquartered in London.

The first company we visited was DOVU, where we learned more about the cryptocurrency they are creating, as well as their ideas for the future of transportation systems.

The next company we visited was Verb Brands, a digital marketing agency that specializes in making content for clients' websites and tracking SEO searches and hits on a website.

Finally, the last company we visited was Level39, which is a company that manages the workspace of companies and individuals who rent out space in offices.

Although most of my classmates would agree that learning more about Brexit (Like the positive side of the deal and the economic implications it can cause through various lectures) was interesting, we all enjoyed being able to have time to ourselves to explore the city in the way we wanted.

I really loved visiting sites like the Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and historic sites that our normal Indianapolis life doesn’t have.

To put this only in a few words is very difficult to do, considering the experiences were something that you would most likely never get the chance to do again, but it was those experiences that made the trip so different and unique. I loved being able to see London in a different way, and this was an experience I definitely will not forget.

By: Madelyn Heron, BS'21

Life in London was a week full of exciting adventures, historical sites, and lectures detailing the financial and political impact of the impending Brexit deal.

While adapting to the slightly different culture, the group was able to experience London in such a thrilling, monumental time. All group members were eager to learn about the Brexit deal in order to understand not only the thought processes of the UK citizens behind the referendum, but to learn about potential consequences, negatives, and benefits of the looming EU departure.

A very unique aspect of the trip was incorporating London culture into the daily itinerary which allowed students to better experience London in not only a business context, but a cultural one as well. With visits to the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral which accented the beauty behind historical figures and architecture, to witnessing the incredible Westminster Abbey and being able to witness tombs for Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth, this trip certainly did not disappoint.

Being able to experience these monumental sights with such a wonderful group of students really enhanced the atmosphere and learning experience of this trip. One of my favorite aspects of this trip was viewing London as a tourist while walking through destinations such as Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace.

Something quite remarkable about this trip was the various business trips we went on. We got to visit DOVU - a pioneer in the use of cryptocurrency in public transportation, Verb Brands - a digital marketing firm specializing in luxury brands, and Level39 - a company that specializes in aiding startup businesses in the technological and financial industry.

This experience provided me with the tools necessary to not only understand a different culture and values of a particular country, but to learn crucial differences between how businesses operate in the United States versus the UK. Combined with the unique opportunity of learning about current events such as Brexit, experiencing gorgeous historical sites, and simply living life as a tourist in London, this trip provided me with insights and memories I will never forget.

I am so thankful for every aspect of this wonderful trip, especially being able to connect with amazing Kelley students and faculty members. Being able to study abroad and learn business topics in a real-world setting will only further my academic career at Kelley.

This has been the best experience of my life, and I hope that others choose to push themselves out of their comfort zone and study abroad in trips such as this one!

SLIDESHOW: More views of London. Here, students stop for a photo during a company visit in London.