Stephanie Lin, Class of 2019
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Program/Course of Study:
University College London, U.K.
How did your experience abroad add to your academic journey at Rutgers?
I studied at University College London during the Fall 2016 semester and can definitely say it was one of the most transformative experiences of my life! Through the people I met, I really came to broaden my perspective, think from another angle, and remind myself of the world and opportunities outside of Rutgers. While I had loved the five weeks I spend abroad in Paris studying Art History (which I highly recommend!), I loved being able to be a part of the student body in which I took classes, went to events, and participated in societies (clubs) with actual international students rather than just with other American students. The great part of being in London was that it was so diverse -- I now have friends from the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. I don't think it would have been possible to meet all these people anywhere else.
What advice would you offer to DLS students who are interested in studying abroad?
My biggest tips are 1) While you are there to have fun and meet new people, don't forget it's STUDY abroad, 2) Don't limit yourself with your own expectations-- keep an open mind! Some of my best experiences came from saying yes to things that I normally wouldn't have!
As a student in DLS, I had to take two classes and I chose to take Animal and Human Physiology, which were Year 2 and Year 3 courses respectively. I found it really interesting that their curriculum shied away from textbooks as much as possible. Even in the physiology class, they had professors who did research in say-- the kidney-- lecture and present their research as an additional component. In the Biology of Aging class, my professor was one of the key figures in the field and the readings were exclusively scientific papers. I really honed my ability to read, analyze, and respond to them. Considering how in the United States, we are typically assessed through multiple choice and short answer questions, the UK system is based on essays (~2000 words), which was frightening! But I can definitely say I am a much better writer now, especially after writing essays for my two other classes, London Architecture: 17th and 18th Century and Introduction to Applied Economic Analysis as well.