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Felipe

Felipe Quezada

Major: Environmental Science - Spanish and French Minors

"For me, I noticed whenever I got sad or unmotivated I would go on a walk around London or just get on the tube or bus and get off somewhere random to explore. It helped me become more independent and explore the city and officially become a Londoner."

 

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

I always wanted to live in London; it's something I dreamed about when I was a kid. After getting into Cal, I saw that I could do just that by signing up for Global Edge. It seemed very scary at first, but I didn't want to let that hold me back and well it was definitely the best decision I have made thus far.

What was the most interesting cultural experience you had abroad?

I think getting to have afternoon tea was one of my most interesting experiences because I absolutely love tea (coffee is overrated) and it was fun to see how afternoon tea is an entire ceremony complete with small sandwiches or pastries and of course tea.

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

I think struggling with depression while abroad (and already being homesick) was particularly difficult for me but thankfully I had a good support group plus being able to go on cheap trips definitely helped me get over the occasional dip in motivation.

Describe a typical day for you abroad.
  • -> Wake up, go on a run, and then get ready and either make breakfast or pack something to eat
  • -> Travel to class on the tube
  • -> Class
  • -> Usually get lunch afterward at a nearby cafe and get work done and if not, I would go home and eat
  • -> Either go to a cafe, the study lounge in our apartment complex, the library nearby or stay home and do work
  • -> Go to the store if needed, make dinner, and then relax afterward
  • -> (On days I didn't have anything to work on I would go explore London)
What coursework did you take while abroad? How did courses abroad compare with Berkeley classes?
  • -> London Museums (art history) took us to various museums across London to learn about them, their purpose, and of course look at their artwork (and was definitely my favorite class).
  • -> Math 1A was very interesting because unlike the on-campus equivalent, my class had about 30 students (but no discussion).
  • -> R4A was also very memorable as we learned about London's history and researched various aspects of it. We went on walking tours each week to cover a different area/theme.
  • -> Ancient Greek Philosophy was surprisingly very interesting and definitely made me a better writer.


Overall I think they were a bit easier than my classes at Berkeley as there were no discussion sections and very few assignments. However, I still learned a lot and was challenged it just wasn't as competitive as Berkeley is.

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

For me, I noticed whenever I got sad or unmotivated I would go on a walk around London or just get on the tube or bus and get off somewhere random to explore. It helped me become more independent and explore the city and officially become a Londoner.

What impact did studying abroad have on you personally?

I became much more independent for sure. Before leaving, I could barely go to the store alone and while abroad I got comfortable going on trips to other countries alone.

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

Check to make sure you won't fall behind if you choose to study abroad. Be careful when out and about, especially when on public transport. Also, be prepared for the cold, gloomy, and rainy climate.

How has study abroad influenced your future career path? Or, how do you see the skills you gained while abroad translating into the field you want to go into?

I for sure want to go back to Europe for grad school and hope to live there after I am done with higher education. It is so pretty and the people are just so welcoming. Plus, I could easily see myself working abroad and even potentially doing independent research or something of that nature.