Berkeley Study Abroad Fair - September 27 in the Pauley Ballroom

Kathy Yu

Kathy Yu

Major: Computer Science

"I think initially my biggest concern was being so far away from home for such a long time. Luckily, the homesickness goes away quickly— there's lots to do in a new city, and there were always adventures to go on and sights to see."
 

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

I decided to study abroad my freshman year because I wanted to explore the world and see what life was like outside the Bay Area "bubble." I chose Global Edge because going to London seemed like a cool and interesting way to begin my college experience (I also watched a few British TV shows and Youtubers... so that may have contributed as well).

What was the most interesting cultural experience you had abroad?

While the culture shock wasn't immediate, there were many smaller differences between the UK and the US that became noticeable over time. Just taking the tube, visiting museums (they're all free!), eating the food (lots of good food in London, contrary to popular opinion), and walking around the city led to many interesting moments.

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

I think initially my biggest concern was being so far away from home for such a long time. Luckily, the homesickness goes away quickly— there's lots to do in a new city, and there were always adventures to go on and sights to see. Face timing my family and cat once a week was a nice way to keep in touch with home.

Describe a typical day for you abroad.

- Wake up at around 10, eat breakfast and finish homework
- Go to class: this would either consist of taking the bus to ACCENT to attend lecture, or going on a class excursion to an interesting landmark/theatre play
- Hang out with friends, visit places around the city via the tube
- Go to Sainsbury's to buy groceries
- Make dinner (or some other sad attempt at cooking)
- Start on homework and meet up with friends
- Sleep

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

Colwrit R4B, Survey of World History, Intro to Comparative Politics, and London: Theatre Capital

Overall, the classes were easier than Berkeley classes. That said, there were still stressful weeks near the end of the semester and especially during midterms/finals/papers season.

Also, I enjoyed the fact that many of my classes were set up to help us learn more about London itself. For example, our Colwrit class went on excursions in the city almost every week and our theatre professor took us to over seven performances across the city as well.

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

The most memorable aspect was the friends I made through the Global Edge program and all the excursions and trips we went on together. Because we were given so much time to just explore, we were able to go to many events/festivals as well as historical landmarks within London. Traveling to other countries was also a fun activity on the weekends.

What impact did studying abroad have on you personally?

It has definitely helped widen my perspective of the world as well as increase my self confidence and independence.

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

Just do it!! You'll grow and learn things along the way.