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PKP: Halfway Point Reflections

We're already halfway through PKP, and module one is over. Kayla Koerting writes about academic study on PKP, and what makes it so special.

Kayla (2)I always like to say that when one door closes, another door opens, and that's definitely applicable to finishing Module 1 of PKP and starting Module 2.  I would never have imagined how much I would grow in the first 21 days of PKP.  The classes are rigorous, the workload is intense, and adjusting to life in a different country is always slightly stressful, but the experiences that I have had so far at PKP are ones that I will never forget.  So far I have met students from all around the world, participated in two formal hall dinners at Pembroke College and King’s College, and learned how to punt down the river Cam without falling off.  And most importantly, I am loving every minute of it!

After finishing the first academic half of the programme, Module 1, I can now happily say that I have completed all of my exams and dissertations for my course in Truth, and halfway completed my course in the Cognitive Effects of Bilingualism.  The academics at Cambridge have been very different from my home university, the University of Southern California, and because we are taking three classes in only six weeks the courses are very accelerated.  The lecturers and fellows that I have met during my time here have sparked a passion in me to work towards the future, and being able to study multiple subjects, some of which I never would have taken at USC, has given me an enhanced lens through which to view my chosen field of study.

Beyond of the wonderful lecturers, the outstanding history of the University of Cambridge has really encouraged me to work hard.  When I am walking the same halls as some of the world’s greatest minds in history have, I feel like I have some big shoes to fill! I have been living a few doors down from where Charles Darwin lived in 1836, I have seen the buildings where Stephen Hawking worked, and I have seen the Newton’s manuscripts! I am always amazed at all there is to learn about the people and places that make up the extensive past of Cambridge.

On top of the beautiful history, the absolute best part of studying at the University of Cambridge through PKP is the people.  The camaraderie and the lifelong friendships that have been built in these short three weeks are what makes the programme phenomenal.  One of our favorite activities has been learning how to punt on the river Cam.  It is always so relaxing to have a picnic on the lake with friends, switching the punting stick between everyone, taking pictures, and laughing along the way.  It is a little bit intimidating to come to a foreign country and not knowing anyone, but the people that I have met and the experiences that I have had with them have been really beautiful and rewarding.

With all this excitement happening in just the first three weeks, I am so eager to see what the coming weeks will bring!