International Connections

Annemarie Roggow

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

Minor/option/emphasis: Major in advertising; Emphasis in Styling

Year: Junior
Hometown, State: Minnesota

Type of experience: Study Abroad
Experience: Fashion Business Semester
Experience website:
Destination: England

Overall experience..
My overall experience was absolutely amazing. Living in London is as irreplaceable experience that I will remember forever. Experiencing a new pace of life makes me want to cherish my relationships with my friends back in the states so much more. In addition, I have a new confidence in myself where I know I have the ability to do whatever I put my mind to. Having the ability to travel to different countries changed my perspective because it made me realize that travel isn't that unrealistic. I wish I could experience London all over again or do another semester there.

I learned...
I first learned about studying in London from others in the Apparel program. The idea of study abroad intrigued me and I didn't seriously consider it until I spoke with my advisor. She described the amazing opportunities I would have abroad and recommended which program she thought would be best for me. The idea of England excited me and I knew studying abroad was the right choice for me.

An impact to my life...
The experience impacted my life in such a positive way. It played to my strengths being in school in London because I am not the best test taker, so having projects to show off my abilities was beneficial to me. Having projects gave me plenty of content to put in my portfolio that I am proud of and happy to show others. When it comes to my career goals, being in London solidified my interest in styling. I had always thought about freelance styling and this solidified my interest in it. Also, working on marketing by observing a store once a week and creating a report weekly made me take a strong interest in marketing. From my personal experience, it heavily impacted my life because it created life long friendships and a healthy relationship with myself.

My most valuable learning experience...
The most valuable learning experience I encountered was learning how to style. For the course, in small groups we were required to find a location, source a photographer, hair and makeup artist, model and clothing. It was a stressful experience, but so worth it. Learning how to style by doing really taught me how to be a stylist and not be afraid to take risks and endure difficult situations. This was valuable because trying to source these things in a country I barely knew scared me, so coming back from England, I feel super confident being able to do this now.

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience I had was being able to attend London Fashion Week. I had the ability to watch designer's garments go down the runway, meet others from the industry and be around people who are just like me. I loved putting together my own outfits to attend shows, taking photos at the venue and being able to discuss shows with other people in my program. Having my picture taken too and meeting photographers that wanted to take portrait of me was a surprising experience. In the US, I don't think I'd be able to attend fashion week from the perspective I did at the age I am now.

A surprising discovery...
One thing I didn't expect was in my marketing class when I observed a store weekly creating reports. I was surprised with the gap between who the brands target market was versus who's actually in store. There was a disconnect, which is why the brand is struggling. I didn't realize that some brands don't go back and re-evaluate their market. Seeing this gap first hand will remind me to consider these things when I get my first job and beyond. It is important to adapt and market differently and realize a disconnect with the customers to continue a successful brand. In the workplace, I feel like I will bring this up if the company has not already considered this since it is important to see who the customers are first hand.

Advice for others...
My advice would be that if you have the opportunity to study abroad, go for it. It may seem daunting, but it is incredibly worth it. I found that it was an opportunity to build up my portfolio and shape it to something that I was proud of. You will also find a new found confidence within yourself that you didn't even know that you had. It is an incredible opportunity to shape yourself as a person and live in another country for a couple months to experience a new way of life.

Submit your experience!

International Connections home