When it was time to apply for a university, I was very indecisive about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I knew I wanted to help people, and because I was squeamish at the sight of blood I opted for a programme in the field of biology. In school I took a wide range of subjects and I thought to myself ‘I’ll jump into biological engineering’.
English as the language of instruction and small groups
I looked at universities in Spain, South Africa and the UK, and my dad suggested Austria because we have family here. During my gap year my dad sent me to Vienna – to my cousin’s – and we were looking for universities. All of a sudden IMC Krems popped up, and fortunately the courses were in English. For me this was very important because I didn’t want to take another year to learn German. It sounded international and high quality, I really liked the small student-lecturer ratio. I knew I would be a person and not a number.
Unlimited career paths
The study programme is like an onion, and the courses are like layers. Each layer you peel back is like a career path that you can take. Don’t stress that you are peeling back so many layers that you won’t find the right one.
During the internship I found my layer. I want to go into science communication because I want to help people understand what is going on in medical research.
Krems is a second home
Krems is like a second home for me. When people ask me about Krems, I tell them that it is small enough to get to know everybody but big enough to be your own person. I felt really, really safe in Krems.
Give yourself room for growth
Looking back, I can say that you walk in with an idea of where you want to go and how you are going to achieve it. However, after meeting many wonderful people, learning new and great things and facing a myriad of challenges, it is very possible your plans and ideas change in the end – and that is okay.
A word to international students from outside Europe: get involved in everything the international student community has to offer. It is not huge, but it is very strong. Believe me: biotechnology is not just for absolute geniuses. If you want to do it, go for it!