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MaryEllen Miyashita

MaryEllen Miyashita

Major: Public Health + Economics

"I learned after a while that studying abroad was probably just as, even less, expensive as living in Berkeley. Take the time to plan ahead, so you won't have to worry throughout your trip!"

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

I chose Global Edge London because I never lived abroad before (esp as a low-income POC). Plus, I wanted to break up the transition from high school to college by doing something unorthodox the first semester. It was also great not having to worry about upper divs or requirements for graduation that I'm sure a lot of upperclassmen have to factor in when studying abroad.

What was the most interesting cultural experience you had abroad?

Asking for 'a coffee' in the UK isn't sufficient, it's 'filter coffee'. Also that americanos are the next best thing.

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

Expenses! Living on your own always puts your financial planning to the test, but living abroad made it a major concern on a daily basis. However, I learned after a while that studying abroad was probably just as, even less, expensive as living in Berkeley. Take the time to plan ahead, so you won't have to worry throughout your trip!

Describe a typical day for you abroad.
  • -> Wake up in a gorgeous flat
  • -> Get ready for classes
  • -> Tube to UC Center in Bloomsbury
  • -> Attend class (usually one or two a day, if that)
  • -> Study at the Cafe Nero around the corner
  • -> Go home
  • -> (depending on the day) eat dinner & sleep OR get ready to go out!!!
What coursework did you take while abroad? How did courses abroad compare with Berkeley classes?

COLWRIT R4B, Theatre 20U: London, the Theatre Capital, Ancient Philosophy, Polisci 2

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

Most memorable time abroad was traveling to other countries. I've had some of my most memorable experiences spending weekends in foreign cities with my friends. It can be life-changing.

What impact did studying abroad have on you personally?

Personally, studying abroad taught me independence and culture that I would've never developed through the traditional pathway. There's something about living an ocean away from home that forces you to grow-up a little faster. Also!! Inspired me to study abroad again and pursue a career abroad after graduation (hopefully).

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

Not to be afraid!
Go outside of your comfort zone!
I think traveling during my freshman year was a great idea since it opens your eyes to just how big the world is and can have a positive influence on your mindset heading into Cal. The Global Edge Program is great, but make sure you're flexible or have thought out your 4-year plan, especially for STEM majors. Also, theater > museums!!! You get to go to real, amazing plays almost every other week.

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?

Being aware of others' cultural backgrounds and varying circumstances is key to what I want to do as a Public Health and Economic major. Both require this understanding to look at different processes happening in many countries around the world.