Living like Lennon in London: British Invasion Study Abroad Experience


My project was a study abroad through the British Invasion Music Program (Music 3350). The class spent two weeks beforehand discussing and analyzing the different music movements that occurred during the 1960s. The specific focus of the program was on the music from the country of England. The main goal of the course was to explore the impact and meaning of the 1960s which was directly reflected in the music of that era. After, the class traveled abroad on a two-week study tour of London and Liverpool to witness the key cultural sites prominent during the movements. The main goal of traveling abroad was to experience the cultural demographics of the area where such an important movement of music occurred. Traveling abroad brought to life many of the important topics we covered in class. It was vital as it helped to reinforce the ideas discussed in class.

Coming into the program, I knew very little about the music of the 1960s. I felt apprehensive about the program as the topic was something out of my comfort zone. One significant impact of completing my STEP project would be my change in thinking. I began to develop an open mind by embracing a subject that was foreign to me. By doing so, it helped me realize that being set in my ways for so long blocked me off from many different experiences. By letting in a form of art so popular in the 1960s, it helped me appreciate and gain a better understanding of that decade. It helped me see the passion and emotion of the artists, which transferred directly into my life.


The greatest impact of the program was what I learned about myself. I learned that all too often, I close myself up to different experiences because they are out of my comfort zone. By being more open and accepting of different ideas, I am able to get more out of life and see the world differently. Viewing the world in a different perspective is important because it enables you to emphasize with others and become a more complete person. Overall, the program assisted me by opening me up to new ideas and perspectives which enabled me to be more open minded.

While my experiences in the classroom and abroad contributed to my transformation, Doctor Gerber is the main component of my transformation. He was the instructor and creator of the program. His passion for the music and his ability to connect with his students are the main reason the program had such a large impact on me. Each lesson, his passion could be seen. He was able to convey the perspective of the people living during the 60s which helped change my thinking. His passion for the music challenged me to get the most out of his lessons and life in general.

The first week of class Dr. Gerber gave his students the opportunity to go to The Who concert. I did not know anything about the band and was not really interested in attending. He encouraged me to go and to have an open mind. Reluctantly, I decided to go. It was one of the best decisions I made. I had a fun time watching one of the most significant bands from the 60s play their hearts out. It gave me a new perspective on life and showed me the importance music can have. Because of Dr. Gerber, I stepped out of my comfort zone and had a new experience. I learned an important lesson that day that was crucial to my transformation.

While studying abroad, Dr. Gerber constantly challenged me to get the most of my experience. He challenged me to witness and understand the perspectives of different people living in London. He also set up the trip in such a way that the experiences would all be impactful. The itinerary that he created for the trip included important cultural sites like Parliament, The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, but also included specific music sites. Each day, I experienced a new part of the world. Each and every experience added to my evolving perspective of the world and help to cement the idea that I need to step out of my comfort zone. I was able to get the most of my experiences while in England and develop a greater sense of global awareness towards different lifestyles, diverse cultures and beliefs due to Dr. Gerber’s teachings and encouragement.

This transformation is imperative to all aspects of my life. By regularly staying in my comfort zone, I close myself off to perspectives and experiences different from what I know. By embracing change and the ability to try something different in my academic goals, I see the impact it can have on my personal and professional goals as well. By stepping out my comfort zone professional, I will have the ability to meet new people which will not only grow my professional network but will also help me gain fresh perspectives in the business world. Having a professional network is important in the finance industry as it will open up my world to new opportunities. By having the ability to step out of my comfort zone, I now will be able to put myself out there which will enable to obtain the resources I need to accomplish my goals. This transformation will also help me personally as it will help me develop better relationships. Strengthening my relationships will people will overall improve my quality of life. Being socially active is an important part of life and I now will be able to do so more easily and efficiently due to my transformation.


One thought on “Living like Lennon in London: British Invasion Study Abroad Experience

  1. Hi Joseph,

    It is great to hear that this experience empowered you to develop the confidence to successfully step outside of your comfort zone. Leaning into discomfort will not only help you grow, but it will help you better support, learn from, and love others.

    I hope you have shared the role that Dr. Gerber played in your transformation. This will mean a lot to him!

    Kara Zarnoch, Residence Life

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