Hi there, it’s so good to be back on the blog for my second semester – my name is Eric Beeler, and I’m a George Washington University student studying at King’s College London this semester. This is actually my second semester abroad… last semester I was living in Beijing, China and studying on the Associated Colleges in China program! If you haven’t had a chance, please check out my blogs from last semester.
Welcome… to my first blog entry of the semester. I’m excited to have the opportunity to share my journey with you and talk about my plans to get more involved with my local community here.
First things first, what am I doing in London? So, as I mentioned I’m on the GW England program and I’m based at King’s College London. I live right below the Thames in an area called Southwark in a student flat (which is so much better than US dormitories, I might add) and my classes are about a 15-20 minute walk to campus in central London. This semester, I’ll be primarily taking Business/Economics classes to fulfill my GW requirements but I’ll be dabbling in some other subjects as well.
I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about my goals this semester in London… community service. I think that my 6-months here (aside from traveling, studying, playing, and everything else you can imagine), it’s really important to make sure that community service remains a major part of my life. I’ve been so lucky to have the support from my university and this incredible scholarship program to take this year abroad… and I want to return the favor by giving back to others this semester.
Now, what are my plans on getting involved in my new community here in London? I’m actually still determining what I want to do. Right now, I’ve narrowed it down to two subjects: LGBTQ+ career outreach and efforts to help the homeless here in London.
LGBTQ+ career outreach is something I’ve been passionate about for quite awhile. In the United States, I’ve been very active with the GW Career Center in helping to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace and help students understand how to leverage their LGBTQ+ identity throughout the recruitment process and once inside their company. For example, is it safe to be “out” on your resume and how do you navigate being a LGBTQ+ professional in a very heteronormative business setting? I’m hoping to partner with the King’s College Career Center to put on some of these seminars for students at my university.
Homelessness is a key issue here in London… just walking down the streets for a few minutes, you’ll notice there’s no shortage of people who lack proper housing/food. Not unlike DC, it seems that the cost of living here (which is super expensive) is a huge burden for many of the people in the city. I’ve actually been in touch with a few incredible homeless shelters in my area, and I’m speaking with them about how I might be able to get involved.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated as things progress – Until next time… Cheers, from London!