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Alumni Spotlight

Tiffany Lui
United Kingdom Spring 2015
Psychology and Social Behavior major

"Bristol Uni offers a rigorous Experimental Psychology course, which allowed me to take thought-provoking units such as Evolutionary and Biological Psychology. My experience as a psychologist grew and was challenged by the independent research papers and extensive class syllabi."

"Unlike most study abroad students, I lived in a catered hall with a combination of year international and local students. I got to know people from all over the world, from my home city Hong Kong to Russian, to Singaporean to Spanish!"

"I've also discovered my 'hidden talent' thats boosted my confidence - who knew a small person like myself had the guts to backpack by herself for 3 weeks in Europe!"

Why did you choose your particular study abroad program/location?
It goes by many names: Great Britain, United Kingdom, the UK... Whatever it is referred as, I've always been fascinated by this country since I was young. Due to my upbringing, Britain resonates with me. I grew up reading Enid Blyton, who was a famous British children's book writer. Imagine my pleasure when I see dog-eared copies of her books in charity shops in the UK! Seeing bustling London, rustic Wiltshire, and most of all, eccentric and vibrant Bristol where I studied, was almost like coming back home. Moreover, Bristol Uni offers a rigorous Experimental Psychology course, which allowed me to take thought-provoking units such as Evolutionary and Biological Psychology. My experience as a psychologist grew and was challenged by the independent research papers and extensive class syllabi. I felt that I matured both as a scholar as well as an international citizen. 
 
What types of activities were you involved in while abroad that were meaningful for your learning?
I took European Cinema (1920-1960) as one of my GEs. I enjoyed delving into this yet unknown genre of films, especially those that feature a strong female character such as A Taste of Honey (1961) and Ossessione (1943). This class has sparked an interest for British 'kitchen-sink' films of the 60s while giving me a deeper understanding of the European countries I visited during my stay in UK.I also helped out at a local painting pottery shop, a mere five minutes walk down from my residence. This highlights the accessibility of Bristol, which is one of the reasons why I fell in love with the city in the first place. Apart from daily customer service like serving coffee and having 'paint talks' with the patrons, I also made good friends with the other workers in the shop. Being a small establishment meant that for two months, I really got to know the ladies well. I learned a lot about the British culture in this environment - I'm really glad that I got to know locals in this more personal way. I love how international my perspective has become after studying in University of Bristol. Unlike most study abroad students, I lived in a catered hall with a combination of year international and local students. I got to know people from all over the world, from my home city Hong Kong to Russian, to Singaporean to Spanish. With these connections, I even got to stay at their homes in Wales, London, Seville, and Paris. Coming home, I talk to my friends all day long because of the time difference. This is a testimony to the range of the wonderful people that has changed my life and I feel very blessed by it. 
 
How have you changed or what have you learned due to studying abroad?
I never thought that I would be the first person in my family to step foot onto European soil. Just by taking the initiative to apply for the study abroad program, and to get it, is a great conviction to follow my dreams. I will always use this personal experience to cheer myself during seemingly impossibly hard challenges from now on, because I know at least I've brought myself to Europe. I've also discovered my 'hidden talent' thats boosted my confidence - who knew a small person like myself had the guts to backpack by herself for 3 weeks in Europe! Lesson learned: to listen to my instincts and trust my ability to navigate in a city, given that I have a map and a little time. (: 
 
What are you doing now as a result of studying abroad?
After getting all the help I could from the wonderful staff at Study Abroad Center, I decided to apply to be a Peer Advisor for my last year to help students like myself. Moreover, this experience has taught me the importance of family and I'm forever grateful to their unwavering support and faith in my decisions. After I graduate, I will visit my grandmother in Hong Kong as well as catch up with the friends I have met in Bristol in their home cities - namely Hong Kong and Singapore.
Career-wise, I fell in love with the Spain, particularly Southern Spain. I hope to apply for a work-travel program that allows me to teach English to Spanish students for a year.  
 
What advice would you give to a student considering studying abroad?
I would ask you a few questions:

1) Can you see yourself stepping out of your comfort zone to a country where you may not have any immediate support and friends?
2) Do you have a list of countries you want to visit? If so, what do you know about these countries that will benefit your time there?
3) Are you prepared to work hard academically before, during, and after your study abroad term?

If your answers are yes, then I'd say you're ready to seriously start planning. If your answers are the opposite, well, I'd say 'Go for it anyway!' After all, if even after you weighed your pros and cons and your heart still tugged you to go, then there might be some dormant wanderlust that you'd want to address! 

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