Written by Ellen Oh.

Hi everybody! My name is Ellen Oh and I am a freshman a part of the new Berkeley Haas Global Management Program – majoring in Business Administration with a concentration of Global Management at Berkeley Haas Global Management Program. A little bit about the GMP program: GMP, is a four year program designed to merge business and general education with focus on cultural awareness. The program is designed to take place in Haas School of Business, and abroad. The program started in the summer with intense eight weeks of Colwrit R4A and Philosophy II before going to London for study abroad for the fall semester.


Now, a little bit about me: I am Korean American originally from SoCal but grew up in Taiwan. I am passionate about humanitarian work and I enjoy working for different startups and my own non-profits. I love traveling to experience different cultures and street foods as well as shopping with friends or going to the beach with family. I was particularly excited to be part of Haas.  Haas has always been the dream school for every one of my ambitions to pursue humanitarian business. I thought Haas would be the best institute to build up my international social entrepreneurship, network, and marketing ventures. But part of me was extremely nervous about the drastic transitions I would have to overcome.

Starting college right after graduation felt like I was being thrown right into the test. At this point I had only met about eighty Cal student who were in Global Edge, GMP, or Summer Edge wand have not even been to a full on orientation or tour of the school, but I was already busy running around (like a lost freshman) looking for building for my professors’ offices.  Part of starting classes in the summer was to give us some exposure to the school before leaving, and coming back for the first time Spring. Having a small amount of people on campus also made it easier to transition so quickly into college in the summer because people got so close so quickly. I remember I would run through the dorm hallway knocking on every door and call for a floor bonding time and we would all meet in one room and talk till past midnight. The first few weekend I go to explore San Francisco and had chowder and crab cocktail at Pier 39, spent Fourth of July at Mission Dolores enjoying the best Lemon Cream Pie from Tartine, and watched the sunset at the Golden Gate Bridge. I went hiking and swimming at Lake Anza, one of the most peaceful nature park with a beach shore-like area to relax on. I spent a lot of time working at Babette, cafe at the Berkeley Art Museum as well as Blue Doors. Before I knew it, I had assimilated into the typical Berkeley student life, writing final papers and sleeping in the pods at Moffitt library.

Studying abroad in London seemed like such a far away idea as we moved into Berkeley. Yet, somehow within 24 hours of turning in my final papers, I found myself sitting amongst sixty other Global Edge students, eating curry while watching a movie on the plane to London.

The study abroad program takes place at the UC London Center in the British capital’s Bloomsbury district. The district itself is a gem with every other building we pass by having once been the home of famous people such as Mathama Gandhi, Charles Darwin, Bob Marley, Ricky Gervais, and Charles Dickinson. Less than a minute away from our study center is the world famous British museum. London itself feels like I’m watching an exhibition of the histories and development of London.

I remember the first week in London, where we had a session with Dr. Neha who is the therapy counselor at the study center. She warned us of the possible stress and depression from such significant back to back transitions in our lives. But with the amount of palaces, bridges, museums, towns, and markets to visit, I haven’t felt it yet! It is true, though, that I had a moment of shock when I realized I had to step up my “adulting.” But eventually, we found the right grocery stores, learned how to take the red buses, and knew the short-cuts home.

What is my favorite thing about London?

My favorite parts of London are the street markets. The Borough Market in Southwark is located by the Thames River and consists of over 100 stalls of quality food ranging from cheese and wine collection, buffalo burgers, thai curry, seafood paella, to mushroom risotto, fresh oysters and cocktail stands. Borough Market is the oldest food market in London, and has the biggest diversity and variety of food. The Camden Market in Camden Town is near Hampstead Road Lock of the Regent’s Canal. This market is characterized with creative sellers and specifically catered clothing stores. The Spitalfields, located in the more hippie East End area, is the perfect location to shop for vintage clothes, homemade accessories, and thrifting. The food there is cheaper and the wall of every alley is colorful with street arts and graffiti arts.

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