Born and raised in Milwaukee, Rashida Dockery always dreamed of international travel and now, thanks to Alverno’s study abroad program, her wish became reality.

“I just returned from a semester at London Metropolitan University,” explains Dockery. “It was an awesome and humbling opportunity and one that I would pursue again in a heartbeat!”

Dockery transferred to Alverno last year and is scheduled to graduate in 2015 with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. The semester abroad enabled her to earn 15 credits of college coursework, all while immersing herself in an entirely new country and experiencing firsthand the rigors of a new academic system. And although she was the only student from Alverno, Dockery arrived in London as part of a study group consisting of close to 70 college students from throughout the United States.

“Academia in London is based largely off independent study, so it wasn’t nearly as collaborative as Alverno. While I know now that I prefer a more interactive and engaged learning environment like that of Alverno, I still value and appreciate the tremendous opportunity.”

Dockery did make a connection between Alverno’s faculty and the professors she interacted with in London, “While there, I worked with four professors. All were incredibly informative and equally passionate about what they were teaching.”

Two of Dockery’s courses were based on outside or external studies, which afforded plenty of opportunity to absorb London’s many sites. “In particular, there was an art and theater course, so I was able to visit galleries and make my way through many of the city’s 30+ boroughs.”

Dockery’s experience was helped, in part, through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. Established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, the program provides funding for undergraduate study abroad programs.

“Without the scholarship funding, I doubt the study abroad experience would have been possible. As a result, I did my best to make the most of the experience.”

Dockery took advantage of opportunities to visit nearby cities such as Paris and Scotland, as well as famous historic sites like Stonehenge. “I’d say the biggest challenge and only adjustment was balancing time and sleep … I wanted to do so much, but only had so much time.”