I'd always wanted to go on a study year abroad

MChem student Ella Shilliday had the time of her life and found her passion for real world chemistry on her study year abroad.

‘It was the best year of my life, hands down. I would highly recommend to anyone to do one.’
Ella Shilliday MChem Chemistry including study year abroad (2018)

The best year of my life

When I was applying to universities, I applied to ones where I could do a study year abroad because I'd always wanted to do one. For me study year abroad was the better option rather than a placement. I went to Perth to study at the University of Western Australia. It was the best year of my life, hands down. I would highly recommend to anyone to do one.

I had to do a research project while I was there. I used to hate undergraduate labs, but then going to the research lab every day, I learned so many new techniques. It was such a fun environment and everyone was so nice and friendly and willing to teach me. I was involved in making polymeric nanoparticles for drug delivery. The drugs were antifibrotic to prevent scarring during wound healing and we were testing whether it was a viable method of drug delivery.

I want to go on to do a PhD and hopefully I want to go back to Australia because I just loved it there. I especially enjoy when you find out why the chemistry is useful, how it can help things in the real world. I don't like research for the sake of researching, but when it has a real world application, I really like that.

Advice if you're thinking of studying chemistry

I'd say if you're considering chemistry over the possibility of doing other sciences, definitely choose chemistry, because it sits in the middle. So you get to do a bit of physical, a bit of biological, it's such a broad spectrum. You get to do a bit of everything, so you're not limiting yourself.

Find out more about studying chemistry at Bath.

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