‘Life-changing’: UPES student on semester exchange program at UC Berkeley
Shubhransi Kumar, a fourth-year student of BA LL.B., went for a five-month semester exchange program at University of California Berkeley and came back, in her own words, more independent and aware as an individual
Shubhransi Kumar is a fourth-year student of BA LL.B. at UPES. In May 2022, she came back from a semester exchange program at University of California Berkeley (UCB), US. The law student read Foundation of Legal Studies, Supreme Court and Public Policy, Human Rights and Research, and Legal Writing at the UCB.
Describing her experience, the 21-year-old said the time spent at UCB was “life-changing from the onset”.
“From the time I filled out my application form to preparing to live in a different country all by myself helped me become independent,” she says.
Shubhransi is thankful for the multicultural and diverse experience that she encountered at UCB.
“Upon my arrival there, I got the opportunity to interact with students from different parts of the world, learn about their cultures, try their cuisines, and understand their perspectives on different issues which made me more aware as a person,” she says.
According to her, one of the major highlights of the program was her visit to the Superior Court in California where she discussed jury trials and their validity in the 21st-century during a one-on-one conversation with a judge.
She feels that attending the numerous networking events in Berkeley played an important role in shaping her future plans as she met many inspiring people who gave her advice on prospective career paths.
“My future goal is clearer now and I feel more confident that I will be able to achieve it. This wouldn’t have been possible without the opportunity that I got,” she tells us.
Shubhransi admits that even though she found the academics and learning environment at UCB challenging in the beginning, she slowly began to see the benefits.
“The academics and learning environment, especially with Berkeley’s highly competitive environment, can feel taxing mentally and physically, but I tried to channelise that in a positive way, knowing that this experience was going to be worth it in the end,” she says.
The national-level debater says that the UCB classroom experience challenged her to think beyond modules and books.
“Examinations were conducted using a different approach. I was exposed to resources like seminars, clubs, and student writing centres which helped me keep up with my academics and score well,” she says.
Albeit transitioning to the US was challenging, Shubhransi says her professors and friends from around the world supported her at every turn.
Not one to miss out on fun activities amidst serious work, the self-confessed travel lover utilised the opportunity to travel to San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Mexico. She also managed to fulfil a childhood dream – that of attending a rock concert by Coldplay.
On the co-curricular front, Shubhransi enjoyed her time by participating in various activities like dancing, singing, and dramatics.
“These small experiences have resulted in enormous personal growth and understanding of self,” she says.
UPES has signed agreements with world-renowned foreign universities to provide an enriching international experience to its students through the Semester Abroad/Exchange Program.
The Semester Abroad/Exchange Program seeks to enable UPES students to experience diverse cultures, customs, and lifestyles at these foreign campuses, while earning credits for their studies.
For more information, visit UPES International Connect.