Peer Advisor and Outreach Assistant
Global Learning Hub
Hi everyone! My name is Fionna and I am a third-year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major. Even before coming to UC Davis, I was determined to study abroad at least once during my undergraduate years. The idea of living in another country and fully immersing myself in the culture in a way that a tourist could not absolutely thrilled me. Studying abroad may be a different experience for everyone, but it is always a worthwhile one.
In 2019, I participated in the UCEAP summer physics program in Hong Kong, where I completed a year of physics in 8 weeks. My experience in Hong Kong was much more eye-opening than I expected because not only did my perspective on the differences between Asian and American education systems widen, but my understanding of Chinese culture deepened along with my own cultural identity. Even if my physical appearance allowed me to blend in amongst other Hong Kongers, my beliefs, values, and experiences made me come face-to-face with cultural differences as a result of my upbringing in the United States. Interestingly, I became exposed to a culture that felt familiar yet unknown.
I had chosen this program for the purpose of completing my major requirements, but what I got out of this study abroad experience was so much more than I could have ever imagined. In the two months that I had lived in Hong Kong, I had made many new friends, gained a deeper understanding of my own culture and self, experienced my first typhoon lockdown, and—of course—ate a lot of great food!
As a Peer Advisor, I aim to help UC Davis students take advantage of the unique and wonderful experience that is study abroad, because it is an opportunity that may not present itself again in the future. Despite the current situation, I hope to meet you all soon so we can work together and make studying abroad a reality for you!