Julia spent her year abroad in Spain
Imperial student Julia talks about studying for her MSci in London and Barcelona, and becoming a PhD researcher.
"Imperial offers the option to combine your science degree with a language programme."
"Learning a new language is learning how other people think."
I went to an all-girls school so I wasn’t always aware that women were under-represented in science. Once I realised that, it encouraged me to study it at university! I now study Chemistry at Imperial.
I signed up for a year abroad from the very start. I am originally from Germany and have also spent time in France. Living abroad allows you to learn things that you would never learn if you stayed in the same country.
Living abroad allows you to learn things that you would never learn if you stayed in the same country."
You meet people with a completely different mindset, different values, and different ways of life. Learning a new language is learning how other people think. This is something I knew I wanted to experience more of, and Imperial offers the option to combine your science degree with a language programme.
I decided to spend the final year of my MSci at Imperial studying in Barcelona and learning Spanish. At first, I was nervous about leaving.
- Would I miss out?
- Would my degree suffer?
- Would I be able to understand classes in Spanish?
- Would I adapt to the new environment?
However, all my worries were immediately blown away when I arrived in Spain. Barcelona is such a happy and sunny town, it is impossible to feel stressed out or unhappy.
I quickly became fully immersed in my work and I learnt so much. I hope to be able to publish some of my results soon. My supervisors also offered me so much attention and support.
At the end of my time in Spain, they both travelled all the way to London to watch me present my research. They also secured funding for me to go back for a couple of months more over summer to do some more research.
I’m now a first year PhD researcher at Imperial and I’m very happy I went abroad. It showed me how much I enjoy research and helped me to figure out what to do after graduation.
It was only a year, but I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. I found a new home somewhere far away and I got to know myself better. It took a lot of willpower and confidence at the start, but it was totally worth it.