Mind the Gap: An IES Internships Blog

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Packing your life up to move overseas can be daunting. Packing up your life to move overseas for an internship? Even more so! See how IES Internships intern Ivy is planning on channeling her nerves to achieve exciting goals while she completes her internship in London.

By: Ivy Bridges

We are our own worst critics. We let our fears stop us from achieving the things we dream about at night.

Packing up a suitcase and traveling across the world can be daunting. Let me let you in on a secret: We are all scared. I'm a planner and when things don't go as I expect, I tend to go a little crazy. But that's the beautiful thing about travel; things will never go as planned and you must learn to be flexible. I'm afraid of getting lost on the Tube, or making mistakes at my internship. But most of all, I face the fear of the unknown. There are so many things that I haven't learned, which can lead to self-doubt and fear. However, I'm working on understanding my mistakes to see what they can teach me. After all the fear, there is only one other emotion that overpowers: excitement.

I'm about to live in the amazing city of London. Few cities compare whether it be culturally, socially, historically or in beauty, and the hay fields of sweet home Indiana don't even come close. I've been spending countless hours brushing up on British history and learning everything I can. The spine of my Lonely Planet London guide is creased, from days spent flipping through its pages. Yes, I am still scared. But I've channeled my nerves into motivation. Fear creates goals and I want to share three of mine for when I step foot out of Heathrow, and take my first steps on British soil.

1.    Let myself get lost

I’m ready to explore every nook and cranny surrounding my dorm in King’s Cross. No street is off limits- alley ways are the perfect place to find places you wouldn’t have otherwise found, had you stuck to the main roads. I’m turning off my maps app, and letting myself see the city tour that books don’t teach you about. I’m ready to let go of my inhibitions and see the city with my own two eyes; not with the guidance of a smart phone.

2.    Experience everything

It’s easy to get into ruts and fall into a routine because it’s comfortable. My goal is to never eat the same thing twice. I want to explore as many restaurants as possible, and try as many new foods as I can. It’s unlikely I’ll ever be anywhere as culturally diverse as London again and I don’t want to let go of this opportunity. I want to see every big monument and tour every museum; I want to see the history first-hand. I want to spend every moment learning more and more about what it means to be a Londoner.

3.    Immerse myself in my internship and British culture

The IES internship program is so unique because it allows students to pursue an international internship. This means students aren’t just taking classes with fellow American students; rather these students are working amongst real Londoners. I have a tendency of being shy when I first meet people. But I hope to be as open as possible and create friendships with my co-workers. I want to experience what it really is like to be a Londoner and I want to create lasting friendships with individuals I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet.  I don’t want to go back to the States as the same person I was at the start of trip.


London street

I refuse to let fear take hold on me ever again, and I encourage you to do the same. Fear can be one of the best motivators.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  

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