Study Molecular Biology and Biotechnology abroad in the UK

A year of self-discovery and overcoming: My year of studies in the UK with Across the Pond

Just a year ago, my life took a 180-degree turn. I packed three suitcases and a backpack and left home to embrace the unknown and pursue my dream. Uncertainty and fear intertwined with deep excitement, as it was the first time I left my hometown to immerse myself in the unfamiliar. Finally, after several years of attempts, thanks to the invaluable assistance of Across the Pond, my dream was about to become a reality.

Today, I am about to complete my Masters in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. One year here, and I can't help but feel deep gratitude to the Across the Pond team and the constant guidance they provided throughout this incredible journey.

Studying in the UK has exceeded all my expectations. One year ago, I faced doubts and fears in the face of the unknown: a new country, a different language, and an entirely new culture and climate for me. However, in retrospect, taking that risk has been the best decision of my life. From the first day my feet touched ground in this country, I felt embraced by its warmth and hospitality, making me feel at home.

Queen's University Belfast: My new alma mater

The university has become a melting pot of multicultural diversity. I have shared classrooms and moments with people from around the world, learning to value and respect different cultures. The friendships I have made here will be lifelong companions, treasures I will cherish forever.

Queen’s University Belfast has demonstrated a genuine commitment to its students. The available facilities and amenities have contributed to making my stay in the UK unforgettable and rewarding. Additionally, the city of Belfast has captivated me completely. The people here are welcoming and always willing to help. The serene atmosphere blends with unforgettable festivities and picturesque green landscapes.

Facing fear head-on.

However, it has not all been easy. My biggest challenge on this journey was overcoming the language barrier. My English proficiency upon arrival was not exceptional, which left me feeling somewhat insecure. However, over time, I discovered that one does not need to be an expert to survive. People are patient with foreigners, and gradual exposure to the language improved my skills. Today, while not at an expert level, I have progressed significantly in my English proficiency. Each day, I incorporate new phrases and expressions into my repertoire, filling me with satisfaction and pride.

Feeling fear and uncertainty when confronting the unknown is normal. Even though I am here, fear still remains a part of me. However, I have learned to manage it differently. The secret is to pack that fear into the smallest suitcase or the least obstructive spot. Fear is like adrenaline: healthy and necessary. It helps us face challenging situations and, paradoxically, allows us to value each moment and achievement even more.

My advice for you.

Studying in the UK has been an exciting journey, full of learning and self-discovery. Before arriving here, I never imagined the obstacles I would overcome, the international friendships I would form, and the confidence I would gain from confronting the unknown. The university's multicultural environment has enriched my perspective in a unique way. Interacting with people from different parts of the world has opened my mind and taught me to respect and appreciate diverse cultures.

Lastly, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Across the Pond team, especially to my student advisor, who guided me through the university application process and took care of sending and reviewing my documents. To my scholarship advisor, who guided me in scholarship searching, I owe an equally significant thank you. Thanks to their support, I won two scholarships that have made my stay in this country more comfortable and enriching.

To wrap up, I want to give you this final piece of advice: if you share this same dream, take the leap. Dare to explore the unknown and immerse yourself in an experience that can change your life in just a year. Who knows what adventures await you by Across the Pond. Farewell for now, and may your journey be incredible!

- Gisseth

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Study Public History abroad

There is plenty to do in Belfast

Study Public History in the UK

I chose to study my Master’s in Public History at Queen’s University Belfast. I’d studied Belfast previously and was always interested in its modern history of conflict, reconciliation, and public commemoration. So, that led me to consider studying there and I just went for it! Across the Pond streamlined everything and walked me through every step. There are some small differences in applications and their help was appreciated. I got accepted to every school I applied to.

I adjusted to Belfast quite smoothly quite honestly. It’s a great city with friendly people and just big enough to have all the good parts of a city, but small enough that it’s easily navigable and easy to settle in. My accommodation was centre city, just a couple blocks from Belfast City Hall. I walked everywhere, which allowed me to hit the pub with friends and still live a reasonably healthy lifestyle.

I met some excellent people in my program, several of which were Americans, so while I’d encourage applicants to meet people from all over, you will never be alone as an American abroad. We are truly everywhere! I developed some close friendships and some ended up staying after our program ended. I enjoyed further developing my understanding of Belfast’s difficult past. Sectarianism remains relevant as murals and walls divide communities, but while sometimes the news and politics can be jarring, Belfast is very safe and I never felt threatened or uncomfortable. It’s a fantastic learning experience for those who didn’t grow up there to have.

One of my favorite things about being in the UK was the ability to travel with ease and generally at low cost. Certainly, your studies come first, but for those in a Master’s program, it is likely you will have a fair amount of free time, or at least time you are not in class. I visited cities like Dublin, Amsterdam, Geneva, Brussels, Berlin, Lisbon, Paris, and cities all over Britain like London, Liverpool, and Edinburgh! I just took advantage and was often working at my laptop in a café somewhere other than Belfast. Though I’m sure I’ve had coffee at just about every coffee shop in the Belfast city centre.

Admittedly, I did not join any clubs as a graduate student, but there is plenty to do in Belfast. After making friends we would bake together, get lunch, coffee, take walks, attend rugby or football (soccer) games, and so much more. We also liked to take short day trips up the Irish coast or visit local museums.

The cultural differences are subtle and you will surely settle in with little difficulty, but be sure to stock up on those American treats like sauces (ranch is extremely uncommon!), good peanut butter, mac & cheese, and taco seasonings! Other than some of your favorite goodies from home, grocery shopping is largely the same. Those who enjoy just black brewed coffee may find it hard to adjust to espresso drinks. I did! A beer ordered out is generally a pint. A proper pint. Which is about 20oz.

All in all, I had a positive experience. I had hoped to stay after as well, but other things got in my way. I’ve already visited friends in Belfast since graduating and plan to go back many times. Thankful to Across the Pond for their help and happy to say I now have two degrees!

- Steven

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Study in Northern Ireland

The academics are excellent

Study Irish in the UK

I recommend anyone looking to study or work abroad to travel to Belfast and attend Queen’s. The academics are excellent, the people are very welcoming, and you can immerse yourself in a new culture.

Belfast is highly accessible. The public transport is very easy to use and affordable, and many destinations in the city are within walking distance, or a very short bus ride, from Queen’s.

While I learned so much in the classroom, the biggest skills I learned at Queen’s was as an international student. Thanks to my time as an international student at Queen’s, I learned to interact with many diverse groups of people. As someone who was not a native of the country, I now know I have the skills to excel in any environment.

My time at Queen’s also prepared me for the transition from a small college to a large research university. It also gave me the independence to live and work in a city on my own. I’m currently pursuing my Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

- Zach

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Study Irish

I fell in love with Queen´s and Belfast

Study Irish in the UK

I fell in love with Queen’s and Belfast! Both are incredibly welcoming for students. I concentrated on British and Irish history at my home university and knew I would have fantastic opportunities to study Ireland, in-depth, at Queen’s.

The course exceeded my expectations and the facilities, especially the library, are amazing. My professors were incredibly knowledgeable. More than that, they were willing to meet up to discuss my coursework and their expertise.

I lived in a house with students from all over the world and we always went out together and went on trips outside of Belfast, too. I loved visiting the Titanic Experience, cheering on the Belfast Giants at the Odyssey, and grabbing a pint or two at the Crown or McHugh’s.

I graduated from UMass Lowell and now I’m back at Queen’s for my MA in Irish Studies. I absolutely recommend Queen’s – it changed my life for the better!

- Kimberly

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Study in Belfast

Life at the university exceeded all my expectations

Estudiar en Reino Unido

My name is Camila, I am 26 years old and I am from Montevideo, Uruguay. I graduated as a Translator of English and am currently doing a Masters in Literary Studies at Queen's University Belfast (Northern Ireland). I had always wanted to live in the UK because I really like its culture; as a translator, living in an English-speaking country is very enriching.

I chose this university for the particular structure of the master's degree, but also for its history and prestige. Queen's was founded in 1845 under the reign of Queen Victoria and belongs to the Russell Group. On the other hand, Belfast is the cheapest city to live in the UK and a very quiet and beautiful place. In addition to being a translator, I am a photographer and every trip out into the street involves stopping to take a photo, it is a very beautiful city that seems to come out of a movie.

Life at the university exceeded all my expectations. In Uruguay, students live with our parents while we study and the university is a small part of daily life that only contemplates academics. In the UK, I have the opportunity to live in accommodation with other students from all over the world and participate in many activities with the university that go far beyond simply attending classes. Likewise, the possibility of living in Europe and seeing new places, both within Ireland and on the continent, is a unique opportunity.

Another possibility offered by studying in the United Kingdom is, once the master's degree is finished, extending legal residence for up to two years through a visa called Graduate Route that allows us to look for work or simply use it to travel and meet. In my case, I also hope to enrich my professional experience before returning to my country.

- Camila

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Discover UK Universities

Digital meeting with a Student Advisor

Book an online session with an advisor with Across the Pond to learn more about studying in the UK! 

  1. Make sure you book the meeting at least 2 days ahead of time
  2. If you want to talk over Skype, make sure your Skype is working as it should and that you have connected with your advisor before the meeting starts to avoid losing valuable meeting time 
  3. If you do not use Skype and prefer to talk over for instance Teams, just type that into the "Skype-ID" field and we´ll arrange to send you a meeting link via Teams (you do not need a Microsoft Teams user) 



Fill in the form below to register your interest, and your advisor (if you already have one) will contact you directly. If you do not have a Student Advisor we will of course make sure that you get to talk to an advisor who will contact you to confirm the time!
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We noticed you chose the United States.

We would love to be able to help all students in all circumstances but unfortunately US federal rules prohibit third party involvement for candidates anticipating making use of federal funding.


Your advisor will contact you directly to confirm the time as soon as you have registered your interest. Please note that we can not promise that you will receive an appointment at the desired time, but will do our best to comply with your wishes. If the advisor does not have the opportunity at the desired time, the advisor will agree directly with you to find an alternative.
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Skype, Teams or similar depending on what you prefer. If you want to use Skype, remember to share your Skype-ID with the advisor in the form when you sign up!

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