Last night, as I was sitting in the pub after water polo, I realised that I was surrounded by people from every continent save Antarctica. To my left was a Russian and a Brazilian, behind me a man from Malta. To my right was a Canadian, an Australian, a man from Singapore, a woman from Greece, a Nigerian, a German, a Frenchmen, a Spaniard, more Brits then you could count, and of course there was myself, an American. There is no denying that we live in an international world, and whether it's through water polo, student businesses, engineering projects, or real life, we all will have the opportunity to interact, make friends, learn, and meet new people from outside our culture.
Of course, there are ways to make those opportunities happen faster. One way, which I strongly encourage, is to study abroad. For it was not on Olin's campus that I met these folks in a pub, but in London, UK.
I'm Michael Ducker '09, Olin's (new) token study-away blogger. I write to you from my beautiful flat near Kings Cross (yes, Harry Potter-style Kings Cross) after finishing my second week of classes at University College London, or UCL as the cool kids call it. It's one of the more incredible aspects of the Olin engineering curriculum--the opportunity to actually take a semester abroad, and still graduate as an engineer in 4 years. I've left my electrical computer engineering behind at Olin, so that I could have the time to study economics, geography and have a bit of fun while I'm at it ;)
London is an incredible global city, and after living here for nearly a month, I have blogs' worth of stories to tell, and more aptly to this audience, the time away has made me appreciate many parts of Olin I never appreciated before. I think I'll focus my entries on comparing and contrasting Olin v. UCL, and throwing in whatever adventures I have across the pond... to entice readers to make study abroad an integral part of their college career--whatever school you choose to go to.