Studying Accounting Abroad

This summer, sixteen Foster Accounting students traveled to London to learn about Tax Effects and Business Decisions from a global perspective during the 2019 Accounting London Exploration Seminar. Izzy Weber, Senior Lecturer of Accounting at Foster, guided the students through Accounting 321, a required course for Foster’s Accounting concentration. A few students on the trip offered to share their biggest takeaways from their time abroad.

Foster students in London

“At first, the idea of taking an accounting course abroad seemed a bit daunting due to the usual rigor of those classes, but when we arrived in London and started class, I realized that the workload was completely manageable. There was a great balance between class time and free time to be a tourist in one of the greatest cities in the world. I really enjoyed Accounting 321 and being able to take it in London was a truly life changing experience. I absolutely had the best time of my life.

I believe the most beneficial experience during the program was going on company visits. Among others, we toured Deloitte and PwC. The visits truly gave invaluable insight about what it would be like to both work at a Big Four firm and live abroad while doing it. I don’t believe there was anything that took away from the experience of the program. Class time was always used effectively, especially paired with the company visits. We had many cultural visits together, which brought us closer together as a group and helped us experience all that we could in London.

This experience has really helped me understand what I want out of a job in the corporate world. With the diversity of firms and companies that we visited, I learned about many positions and cultures among them and it helped me figure out the direction I want to take in my career. The class that we took also covered a range of taxes, from personal to corporate, to help us decided which type of tax we would want to go into for a career.

My current career goals are to get my CPA and Masters in Tax before going to work for a firm in London. This program absolutely opened my eyes to paths I might not have considered before. After touring the firms and experiencing life in London, I ultimately want to end up in the UK permanently, which is something I wouldn’t have realized I wanted without the program. I am so thankful for the experience and excited to see what the future holds now that I know what path I want my career to go down.”

-Madison Keiran is a junior studying Accounting.

“Taking tax accounting in London was a wonderful and worthwhile experience. While taking this heavy class abroad in three short weeks does make grasping the content harder, being able to visit the London offices of multiple firms and hear from their experiences on dealing with international tax laws, time zones, and different work cultures is a huge benefit that no on-campus class can replace.

In addition to that, we get to go on cultural visits and really experience what it’s like to live, study, and work there. I think this made many of us consider working abroad in the future, whether through a rotation or permanently. Through our company visits, some professionals shared their contacts and asked us to reach out to them if we’re ever considering working in London or need a follow-up meeting. I know that as an undergrad student, I wouldn’t have been able to build those professional global connections without this program.

I’ve never considered working in the UK or Europe; it’s always been the US or Asia. But now, seeing how the London time zone perfectly overlaps both major markets, the work-life balance, and the ease of traveling between many beautiful countries, I really will consider working there.”

-Irene Kuo is a sophomore studying Accounting.

“Taking an accounting course in London was a tough challenge in terms of balance, but incredibly rewarding when it was balanced correctly. It was very enlightening to learn about something like tax which differs from country to country in a multicultural context, and just business in general. The most beneficial aspect of this program (besides being a tourist) was the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in another culture by living there, meeting companies doing relevant work to our course, and the ability to do so in a very participatory way. This was a once in a lifetime experience that has shaped my career goals in terms of wanting to do accounting, but also perhaps trying to work abroad. I also met wonderful people and made some great friends. I definitely would not have the mindset I currently have if I had not been on the exploration seminar, and I am very thankful that I got to be a part of

-Marcus Avery is a senior studying Accounting and Finance.