Madeleine Zurowski

Studying at Berkeley [during exchange], a university with a strong leaning towards my area of interest, was incredibly eye opening and gave me the drive I needed to be sure I could undertake graduate studies.

I was inspired to pursue physics because I've always been really interested in how things worked at a fundamental level and why everything exists the way it does. The fact that objects and systems of such different scales could be connected somehow baffles me, and it seemed like physics, particularly particle physics, was a good place to go to get the answers I craved about the fundamental structure of the universe. The highlights of my studies have been going on exchange, and doing third year subjects where the content became more practical and applicable to the real world.

Studying at UoM meant gaining independence and a flexibility in what I chose to study during undergraduate. Being able to take arts courses that I've always been really interested in were both super enjoyable, and helped me to decide to ultimately pursue physics in Masters, knowing that I wouldn't feel like I'd missed out on another opportunity I might've enjoyed just as much.

My dream career is to work in research, hopefully in the particle physics sphere. I'd love to contribute to something that years from now was seen as something ground-breaking in that field. My advice would be to study smart, not necessarily hard, and not to give up when the workload feels overwhelming. Don't be afraid to study the things you love, not just the things you're good at, because those are the courses I've found the most rewarding.

During my exchange I studied at the University of California, Berkeley in the USA. I loved it, and would highly recommend it to other students. Studying at Berkeley, a university with a strong leaning towards my area of interest, was incredibly eye opening and gave me the drive I needed to be sure I could undertake graduate studies. I had to opportunity to work with experts in my field, as well as do some travelling during and after my study.

For more information on exchange opportunities, see here.