Vincent Chung – Imperial College London (Material Science and Engineering)

It has been nearly 3 years since I left VSA, and I have been studying in Imperial since then. I am here to share some of my university experience and advises to you.

Studying aboard is a completely new experience, where you need to be more independent. Initially, I found it hard to adept, as it was the first time I lived in London away from my family and friends. However, the feeling of homesick soon passed away as I got to know new friends from living in student hall, engaging in societies and completing group assignments. I will recommend staying in student hall for at least a year to know people from around the world. The rent is usually cheaper as well.

University lectures are very different from lessons in VSA. You will often find yourself sitting in a lecture hall with over 100 people and far away from the lecturers. Professors don’t usually have the time to ensure all the students understood their materials, so more self-study is needed. In addition, no one will be chasing for late assignments, so you will need to be self-disciplined as well.

During your university, you should definitely join societies that interest you. This allows you to know people who share your passions and participates in events you never experienced in VSA, for example, design competitions and organizing a summit.

What is material science all about?

Material science and engineering is a study of the properties of different materials, the science behind them and their applications. It Is an interdisciplinary field which incorporates knowledge from many subjects, such as mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry and biology. The first and second year of my undergraduate course covers a wide range of material. Whereas on the third year onwards you have the choice of specializing in certain materials. I am interested in new photovoltaic materials, such as perovskite and quantum dot, so I chose nanomaterial and simulations this year. If you are considering to study material science in the future, I would recommend taking 2 science subjects for IB DP and following news of new materials.