Bear Abroad Issy in England

Issy Lin

Major: Molecular Cell Biology

“Go for it! Dare to dream!”

What led you to study abroad? Why did you choose your country/program?

I have always loved to travel for I believe that travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer. I've dreamt of studying at the University of Cambridge since Year 9 when I saw photos of the idyllic campus and town.

What was the most interesting cultural experience you had abroad?

The endless afternoon tea!

What was the biggest challenge/concern of your study abroad experience? How did you respond?

I had some personal difficulties that I have had since Grade 11 and I was scared that they would ruin my chance at living my dream at Cambridge. It was difficult for me to settle in and feel happy at the start. However, I made some amazing friends at Cambridge who helped me not only feel at home, but also helped me deal with things from my past.

Describe a typical day for you abroad.

Grab breakfast with friends, go to morning classes, grab lunch with friends and chill in the gardens or the library, go to afternoon classes, have fun at Zumba or running with friends, grab dinner with the gang and hang out together. Oh, and homework too I guess.

What coursework did you take while abroad? How did courses abroad compare with Berkeley classes?

I took three courses: Behavioural Ecology, History of Medicine, and Good Life/Moral Life. The courses were very literature-intensive and even my science class required lots of reading and essay-writing. However, I enjoyed the classes much more as each class had only about 20 students so we became pretty close. The professors were always willing to help and were an absolute wealth of knowledge.

What was the most memorable/meaningful aspect of your time abroad?

The spontaneity of all our adventures! We *just* made it onto our flight to Paris post-midterms, and we also *just* made it onto the train back to Cambridge after a trip to Bath and Stonehenge.

What impact did studying abroad have on you personally?

Studying abroad helped me grow a lot as an individual. I learnt that my friends will always be there for me and that even strangers were willing to help me deal with things that I struggled with. And, no matter how perfect and composed other people might appear, they might be struggling with issues too. In fact, they might have the same problems that you do.

What would you recommend to students considering studying abroad, especially to your country or program?

Go for it! Dare to dream!