Wei Quan, SAS class of 2012, and Northeast High School graduate, recently arrived back in the U.S. after an exciting semester abroad in London. A junior at Drexel University majoring in Business and Engineering, Wei Quan is looking forward to starting a career in finance. We asked Wei Quan to share some highlights from his time overseas and advice for any fellow collegians considering going abroad:
What made you interested in studying abroad? How did you find out about this opportunity?
I’ve always heard college graduates say that not spending a term abroad was their biggest regret. In my sophomore year, a friend of mine went to London and she had the time of her life. After that, one of my fraternity brothers did the same program (Drexel in London) and shared his experience through social media including on Facebook and Snapchat. After hearing about both of their experiences, I decided that I had to apply.
What advice would you give to a PF Collegian who is thinking about studying abroad?
DO IT! Don’t worry about the money because it will be money well spent. The first step would be to find out where you want to go – I suggest talking to friends or classmates who have gone abroad. The study abroad office at Drexel was a very helpful resource. Talk to your academic advisor to figure out how studying abroad will impact your plan of study and which program would be the most beneficial academically.
Why did you choose to study abroad in London?
I had a choice between Hong Kong and London. I decided to take a chance and chose London because I wanted to travel Europe. While I was abroad in London, I got to travel to Spain by myself for ten days, which was the most memorable part of my trip. I also wanted to get out of my comfort zone – London and the surrounding areas have a very different culture from what I’m used to and I wanted to broaden my cultural perspective.
Were your college classes different or more challenging in London than they are at Drexel?
They were different and challenging in their own ways. I took 18 credits while abroad, which consisted of 4 classes. My term was condensed into 7 weeks so it was really fast paced compared to the normal 10-week terms at Drexel. The program also placed a lot of emphasize on group work – every class had a group aspect, such as a presentation, project, or report.
What is one valuable lesson or skill that you learned during your time in London?
I learned to be independent, outgoing, and unafraid to get out of my comfort zone. I was abroad with 16 other Drexel students, but I also branched out and made new friends from other schools. Take advantage of being abroad and meet the locals and live as they do. Because accommodations can get really expensive, I stayed in hostels about 95% of the time that I traveled. Hostels are great because you get to meet all kinds of people, and you can then explore the area with your new friends.
Thanks so much for your insights, Wei Quan! We know you’ll apply all that you’ve learned from this amazing experience towards your future success.
If you’re a Philadelphia Futures Collegian who’d like to share one of your most interesting college experiences, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.