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The Finale: Reflection on London Dialogue of Civilization

Group of students on the London DOC

"The Human Services mindset was ever-present throughout this trip and I appreciate how that culture of caring and learning was ingrained in us throughout the dialogue."

By Roxanne Anderson

I arrived home from Europe last night after a long time away from home. It is great to be back with my family, and I’m excited to see my friends. However, I can’t help but to feel that something is different about me upon my return. I feel more independent, knowledgeable and curious, and I definitely feel inspired to keep traveling in the future.

London began to feel like a second home soon after I arrived. Just two days after getting off the plane, I began a new internship and I was commuting to work with fellow Londoners every morning. Listening to podcasts about Brexit and reading the Metro newspaper helped me feel even more a part of the city life.

London was large and overwhelming and the rush of the city admittedly intimidated me. Still, I felt prepared to enter this new and exciting experience. Joining me on this journey were fellow Human Services majors and peers who cared about our collective experience on this dialogue.

Despite our work being mostly independent in internship and capstone class, I learned that it is possible and important to maintain communication with your peers about your work. Not only does talking out loud about your experiences help you process them, but you also have the chance to learn about others and what they are gaining from their time.

The Human Services mindset was ever-present throughout this trip and I appreciate how that culture of caring and learning was ingrained in us throughout the dialogue.

This dialogue experience was positive on a personal level, but I also felt enriched academically throughout my time in London. With the emphasis on politics in Britain now, and our own political troubles in the United States, it was enjoyable to talk about the differences between our countries with locals while at work or at the pub.

My internship experience also helped me focus my career goals and complete my capstone paper, which is focused on the unmet reproductive healthcare needs of women in United States prisons.

I completed my internship at the Irish Chaplaincy, which has a prisoners’ project in which they assist Irish immigrant prisoners in the U.K. While I didn’t get a chance to visit a women’s prison, I did visit a men’s prison and spoke with my co-workers about some of the many issues facing prisoners of both genders in the U.K. This was a great opportunity for me to get inside a prison, meet with some prisoners and hear from the service providers about some of these issues and proposed policy and program solutions.

This dialogue was a wonderful experience, and I know my peers also have their own great stories and reflections to share. We were all challenged and inspired throughout this trip by the people of the city, our teachers, and our co-workers. I will never forget the lessons that I learned on this trip and the friendships that I made.

I recommend this dialogue to anyone who is interested in learning something new every day, is open to a new culture and work experience, and loves great food and vintage shopping!

Photo Gallery

london skyline
A rainbow shines bright over London
two students
Chrissy & I at high tea
platter of snacks
High tea snacks

Peanut butter and jelly doughnut
mind the gap
An important reminder on the Tube

big ben
Big Ben

london bridge
London Bridge

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