Yi Wei Lim, from Malaysia, is a senior pursuing a degree in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Psychology at Marquette University in Wisconsin.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
My decision to study in the USA was based on the superior quality of their research facilities.
Why did you choose Marquette University?
I chose Marquette University because it had the highest ranking among all the other schools I considered for a biomedical sciences major. It was one of the few schools that provided biomedical science as an undergraduate degree. Furthermore, I prefer the individualized experiences offered by smaller private schools. Marquette University is unique because it is located close enough to downtown Milwaukee, yet far enough to have a community of its own.
What do you like best?
The professors in my program are extremely passionate and hands-on in their approach to teaching. It appears the university only hires friendly, dedicated professors with high expertise in their respective field.
What do you miss most?
My friends, family and of course the food.
What was your biggest surprise?
My biggest surprise about U.S. life is the huge difference between the usage of certain English phrases compared to back home (UK English), although they are both technically the same language.
... your biggest disappointment?
I have to retake the driving test to drive in the States because it’s the opposite side of the road from home.
How have you handled: ... language differences?
I tried speaking slower in my first few encounters with new friends so that they could hear what I was trying to say despite the different accent.
I started to cook more and shop less to save money.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
Instead of having to sit for a single exam like the UK system back home, I actually prefer the USA education system because I love being consistent and persistent in my work than to cram everything at the very last minute. I actually work better if everything is spread out instead of accumulated at the very end.
What are your activities?
I am currently in the Malaysian Student Association, which allows me to stay close with fellow Malaysians here when we are all so far from home. I previously joined the Summer Research Program organized by Marquette University College of Health Sciences, which allowed me to gain a lot of experience related to the research field.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
It was difficult for me at first because I was too afraid to open up to others. However, this changed once I started to open up and make friends.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My goal is to become a research scientist. My U.S. education opens many doors for my career goal and hopefully one day I could apply some useful skills I learned from the U.S to help the needs of my country.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Prepare for a learning experience completely unlike that of the UK system. It is far more structured, requiring excellent time management and communication skills. Do not be afraid to ask for help, as this help may be invaluable to your success.