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Alumni Profiles

Terence and a friend map their way around the outskirts of Canterbury.

Terence Lynch, today, as a trial lawyer in Seattle, Washington.

Overseas Study Program

Canterbury, England

Overseas study is a totally transformative experience that broadens an individual and enriches every minute of your life afterwards.”

Terence Lynch

Program & term abroad: Canterbury, England - Academic Year '82-'83

Terence's major: Forensic Studies (Criminal Justice)

Terence's current position (2010): Trial lawyer at his own law firm, Terence Lynch Attorney at Law in Seattle, Wash.

Reason you chose this program: I had been to France twice as a high school student and really wanted to spend time actually living in Europe.  When it came time to apply I chose Canterbury over the Strasbourg program. I recall the tipping point was realizing that Canterbury was about as close to France as you could get in England. Canterbury worked out great, giving me opportunities for significant cultural and language exposure in two countries. I ended up getting over to France often and spent an entire one-month long term break there. 

Best memory: Spending four days walking the course of Hadrian's Wall with two of my friends is undoubtedly the memory I keep coming back to.  

What have been the longterm benefits of study abroad? It affected me in a million ways. First, I returned from my year abroad with a type of confidence I had never before experienced and which remains with me now always.  It brings perspective to challenges and pushes me toward success in everything I do.  Secondly, I met friends, British as well as Americans, who are still among the closest people to me. And lastly, being the foreigner taught me the value of listening without asumptions when seeking common ground, a skill I use every day as a lawyer.

What, if any, cultural practices have you retained from your time abroad? I still eat with my knife in my right hand and my fork in my left hand, inverted. I still put milk in my tea. My wife stocks pickled onions, rich tea biscuits and Branston Pickle for our pantry. I buy stacks of fountain pens every time we are in England and write with them exclusively. I look both ways before I cross streets.

Explain the impact study abroad has in the workplace: My study abroad experience was a factor in getting into getting into law school. Then and now, the service that assembles data for student admission officers asks specifically whether the applicant has overseas study experience. When it came time to look for a law position overseas study experience influenced the process more indirectly. The experience was on my resume and came up in interviews often. Also, listening and confidence are things I bring to bear daily. Living abroad makes you see how the basic needs and drives of people are almost universal, but that they are expressed and met in a multitude of ways. Being able to see the humanity underlying an act can make complex problems much simpler.

What advice would you have for a student considering study abroad? At the time I really wanted the experience of living in Europe. When I looked into IU's programs I discovered dollar for tuition dollar it was a remarkable bargain.  Being able to live in Europe and get a full year of credit hours for not one red cent more than it would cost me in Bloomington? C'mon, folks, what's not to love about that? Honestly, I couldn't believe half the student body wasn't signing up with me. There are alot of good career based reasons for making overseas study part of your time at IU, but that's not the real reason a student should do it. While you're doing it it is overwhelmingly fun. It stays with you forever. Overseas study is a totally transformative experience that broadens an individual and enriches every minute of your life afterwards, not just the few hours a day spent working.