Alumni Spotlight: Kuan-Ting Chen


Kuan-Ting likes to travel, meet new people, and learn new things. She is always looking for new opportunities to improve herself.

Why did you choose this program?

There are a few reasons why I chose this program. One is UCL's academic reputation. It is a well-known school. Being able to study there allowed me to learn in a different setting, and this experience was fantastic.

Another reason is UCL's location. Studying and living in London is exciting. Exploring and studying in London at the same time is a dream come true to me.

The last reason is that the "spiritual founder" of the UCL, Jeremy Bentham, is one of my favorite philosophers, and I'd like a chance to see and study at the school that he contributed.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

UCL Summer School had helped me a lot after the program. I applied to this program by myself, and the process was straightforward. UCL did an excellent job of communicating with its students.

After the program ended, I needed my transcript earlier because of my U.S. visa regulations (I was an international student in the U.S.A., then studied abroad at the UCL), and UCL helped me in every way they could to comply with the visa regulations and communicated with my university.

It was a complicated process, and I am very grateful that they were willing and able to help me.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

For those who are thinking of applying to this program, I encourage you to go for it!

My experience at UCL Summer School was the best among my study experiences. I am from Taiwan, and I studied in the U.S.A. for four years, but I missed UCL the most.

I love my instructor. I love the class I took at the UCL (it was called "The Dark Side of London") even though it was not related to my major. I love the campus and the staff there. I am happy with the accommodation. I can't think of one thing that I don't like about this program or this school.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Overall, I'd say my academic life and social life was very balanced. My class was in the morning on weekdays. After the class, my classmates and I went to lunch together. We also explored London together in the afternoon, such as going to the famous Hyde Park and the Tower of London. I spent most of my nights studying and doing homework, but there were a few nights when I went to UCL's social events. On the weekends, my friends and I went to other cities, such as Brighton.

From my experience, the class I took required around 20 hours of work outside of the classroom per week. Some people needed a lot more time than me to complete the assignments.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I'd say that I did not have much fear in terms of traveling alone. All I had was excitement for this program and London.

I traveled by myself to Europe many times before this program, and I was very familiar with facing new cities alone. Also, as I stated before, UCL communicated with students and gave us very clear guidelines. I know exactly what to expect and what to do.

My only fear (actually more like concern) is that I did not know whether the money I paid would be worthy. I turned out that this program is worth every penny. UCL Summer School designed terrific social events for students, and my class was perfect as well.

When is the moment that you realize you chose the right program?

Given that I only had a summer to study abroad, and I could only choose one program, I had compared a lot of the programs and decided to apply for UCL for the reasons in the first question.

However, the moment I realized that this was the right program is when I represented my class to a midterm meeting with the staff of this program. At that moment, I knew that the program I chose had a passionate team behind it, and they truly wanted to listen to students' feedback. By gathering one student from each class, we discussed different opinions and suggestions to improve this program. At that meeting, I felt our voice was heard and included. I believed not many schools would design this session just to listen to our opinions.

From what I learned, this program is relatively new, and they were still experimenting with many elements of the program, but they are willing to improve the program and doing all they can to provide the best experiences to students. I admire this positive attitude they have, and I believe this program has the potential to grow and be the best.