I studied in London for 3 years. However, it was not a "study abroad" program as you would think of it; I actually applied to King's College London through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), the UK university application portal for all the major universities there. I found it through my own searching of the Web and the literature, not through an American university.
At King's College London, I studied biomedical sciences (concentrating on craniofacial embryology) for 3 years (2004-2007). The first 2 years were like the first 2 years of medical school in America--lots of anatomy and basic science modules (in the UK, individual courses are called modules) as well as seminars and tutorials. I had 2 anatomy courses, one for the body below the head and the other for the head and neck; both involved dissection of cadavers. I really loved it! In fact, I kept a sketchbook of my drawings from the cadavers I was dissecting--and my professors at King's asked for copies of them for their own use in teaching!
But the best of it came for me in the summer of my 2nd year and my whole 3rd year. That's when I started doing actual laboratory research on mouse and chick embryos, studying craniofacial development under certain condition--doing embryo whole-mount in situ hybridisation (using an RNA probe to locate where a gene is expressed in an embryo; it shows up as a neat color reaction in that area) as well as other techniques involving embryos and DNA. My summer 2006 project netted a paper, which I published in a journal soon after. My spring 2007 project was my thesis.
Then in 2007 I applied in the UK and USA for PhD programmes in craniofacial development, and got accepted by both UCSF and USC; I chose to go to UCSF--where I've been since 2007.
I went into this field because of my own experiences with Treacher Collins syndrome.
Besides my academics at King's College London, I was involved in art and music there. I played the piano in the GKT
Music Society; I played in some of their concerts--and I did a lot of solo piano performances in the Guy's Hospital chapel, as well as at Southwark Cathedral and other places.
In London I took up violin--after finding a green violin in Hobgoblin Music Shop. I still use this emerald green violin to this day! (I'm self-taught.)
Outside of school, I met many wonderful people in London--many of them ladies!
These ladies took me under their wing, like mothers.
I also enjoyed "antiquing" along Portobello Road, where I found many Soviet items and several antique medical instruments (and glass syringes) for my collection.
I spent many a Saturday at LHR
, spotting and photographing 747s, 777s, and Russian planes, and even the first A380 landing at LHR
It was hard to leave London at the end of my 3rd year (I came back home in June 2007, in order to move to San Francisco to start at UCSF). I left behind a large "family" of people who had come to know and love me. My church even held a "requiem" service for me...
I left a bit of my heart in London, it could be said! I so badly want to go back there just to visit my old friends and catch them up on how I'm doing here. Who knows, maybe there might be an opportunity to continue my craniofacial research there someday--if so, I'd love to go back to King's College London if the opportunity ever arises again!
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)