ielts award winner 2022 in London on her exchange year

Lioba Berndt

It's astonishing how quickly a year can pass when you're immersed in a world of learning, exploration, and self-discovery. My experience studying Clinical Neuroscience at University College London (UCL) has been nothing short of transformative. As I reflect on this journey, I can't help but feel a profound sense of gratitude for the opportunities I've had and the doors that have opened for me. From my passion for London as a city to the clarity I've gained about my career goals, the friendships I've cultivated worldwide, and the honor of winning the IELTS Award 2022 – it's all been an incredible ride.

Living in London has been a dream come true. The city's rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse communities make it a place like no other. The past year has allowed me to delve deep into the heart of London, exploring its iconic landmarks, hidden gems, and bustling neighborhoods. From morning strolls along the River Thames to late-night adventures in Soho, every moment has been an experience worth cherishing.

Perhaps it's the way London seamlessly blends tradition with modernity that has captured my heart. The city's commitment to academic excellence is evident in its prestigious institutions like UCL, where I've had the privilege to study. London is not just a place of study; it's a place of inspiration. It's for this reason that I've decided to extend my stay in this incredible city for at least another year, as I continue my academic journey and embrace the vibrant tapestry of London life.

Studying at UCL has been an international adventure in every sense. The diverse student body has introduced me to people from all corners of the world, each with their own unique perspective and story to share. It's been an incredible privilege to learn alongside such a globally diverse group of individuals.

The friendships I've forged during my time at UCL extend far beyond the classroom. From exploring London together to celebrating cultural festivals and sharing our dreams and aspirations, I've built lasting connections that span continents. These friendships have not only enriched my personal life but have also expanded my horizons, giving me a broader understanding of the world and the power of unity in diversity.

Winning the IELTS Award in 2022 has been a crowning achievement and a significant turning point in my academic journey. This award has not only provided financial support but has also opened doors to numerous opportunities, including access to world-class educational institutions like UCL. I am immensely grateful for the IELTS Award, as it has allowed me to pursue my passion for neuroscience at one of the world's top universities, fostering my growth as a student and as an individual.

This past year has been a testament to the power of education, exploration, and the global connections we can build when we follow our passions. My time at UCL has been a remarkable chapter in my life, one that has not only enriched my academic pursuits but has also left an indelible mark on my heart.

August 2023 | Lioba Berndt