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Off-Campus Study

Notes from Abroad: Jesse in London, England

Notes from Abroad is a new feature on the Off-Campus Programs website, in which we highlight small snippets of a student’s experience.  This week’s feature is from Jesse Rocha ’16, a double major in Finance and Spanish currently studying abroad in London, England.

Greetings from London,


My name is Jesse Rocha and I am double majoring in Finance and Spanish and throughout my experience in London thus far, I have been given opportunities that will ultimately shape my future working within these fields. I find, while working within the field of Finance, a sense of satisfaction through problem–solving. My experiences in London have challenged me beyond my abilities and have forcibly placed me in moments where such problem-solving skills are necessary. London has fundamentally opened ways in which challenge me and allow me to grow and improve many skills, such as improvements in communicating amongst different ethnicities and cultures, adapting to changes in currency, as well as adjusting to living in a completely new environment.


Communicating amongst different ethnic groups has ultimately been an enjoyable experience, for not only am I exposed to different people in the program, but also students that reside in London. I appreciate the opportunities in which I am able to share and listen to stories and ideas from students from all over the world.


Traveling in and out of Central London was, at the beginning of my stay, a challenge within itself. While living at Lake Forest College, riding the “tube” to Central London is largely incomparable to riding the Metra to Chicago. Due to the fact that I live in the suburbs of Chicago, living in the middle of the biggest and oldest financial centers of the world is a complete new challenge for me. All travel depends solely on public transportation and this was a completely new experience. However, as I have begun to adjust more and more to my new home, using public transportation has appeared more accessible and much less of a challenge.


I would like to thank Professor Aqeel for personally providing me with her advice and support. She inspired me to challenge myself and was ultimately the person who convinced me London was a perfect fit. I would also like to send my thanks to Dr. Eugene Hotchkiss III who has, through the Suzanne T. Hotchkiss Foreign Travel Grant, made such opportunities and experiences possible. I am more than pleased with my decision to study abroad through the AIFS London Program, for it has unquestionably challenged my weaknesses, but has also allowed me to grow and improve.




Jesse Rocha