Attend an international conference

U21 Technologico de MonterreyYou could spend your summer at an international conference and immerse yourself in a different country and culture. 

Alumna and Masters Student, Ana Ture (BA History, 2016) tells us how the Universitas 21 (U21) Summer Event Bursaries made her University experience.

The University of Birmingham is part of Universitas 21, a global network of leading research intensive universities. Through the U21 Summer Event Bursaries scheme, you can take part in an event with one of our partner universities and connect with people across the world.

Ana took part in the U21 Undergraduate Research Conference at Tecnologico De Monterrey University in Mexico in 2015. She spoke about her experience and why she recommends that you do the same.

“I was there to speak at the conference, which was mainly student-led. The topic was ‘Ageing Populations’ and my research was about the NHS in England and how your economic standing still affects the healthcare you receive. The majority of people were focusing on their own country, which was really interesting because you could see what healthcare is like in different countries.

“We spent the first few days in Monterrey preparing our speech for the conference, but the organisers had so many extra activities planned. My favourite activity was being taught Salsa in a Cuban bar – they had prepared traditional Mexican food and there was a mariachi band playing. It didn’t feel like a holiday because you were really immersed in the culture.

U21 sightseeing

“I would recommend the opportunity to everyone. Be brave about it – before U21 I had not travelled very far and suddenly I found myself travelling 12 hours alone, but I found that I really enjoyed the independence and knew there was always someone to call if I needed help. I now feel like a savvy traveller and am keen to go to new places.

“I have also gained friends for life, I’ve been to visit people in Amsterdam, America, Denmark etc and they have come here too.

“My advice is to be open-minded – every country does things a bit differently and you will get so much more out if you go in confident and try and embrace everything about the culture.”

Find out more about the Universitas 21 Summer Event Bursaries.