Summer courses in sunny LA

Medical student Arda Göceroglu won an ECHO award this year, which includes six weeks of summer school at the University of California in Los Angeles. Reporting from LA: ‘The courses are given by lecturers with a great passion for their field.’

Amazing prize

ULCN campus, with Arda Göceroglu centre.

ULCN campus, with Arda Göceroglu centre.

'After winning the ECHO award for Academic Education on 6 April 2011, the 19th of June finally arrived: the day on which I flew to the US, together with the other ECHO award winners, ready to start summer courses at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Over the next six weeks, we are following two courses. This is the amazing prize that comes as part of the ECHO award, which is granted every year to allochtonous students with above-average study results and a clear social engagement. There are various categories of ECHO awards, five in total; I was the winner in the Academic Education category.’


Everything is bigger

‘As you walk out of the airport in LA, the first thing that you notice is that everything in the US is bigger and wider, and there’s more of it. We spent the first day exploring the campus. The UCLA campus is really amazing: there is so much green, the architecture is very beautiful and it has everything (shops, restaurants, hairdressers, a police bureau and a sports complex). The campus is so big you can spend an entire afternoon just roaming around.’

Alternative medicine

The vast UCLA campus

The vast UCLA campus

The courses that I follow at UCLA are East-West Integrative Medicine and Public speaking for non-native speakers. The first course is about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and how to integrate it into Western medicine. As a medical student, I find this subject very interesting. It provides me with more insight into the field of CAM: the theories, the procedures and the scientific evidence. I think that as a future physician, these are things I should know about, since an increasing number of patients seek help in the world of CAM.’


Presentation techniques

‘In Public speaking for non-native speakers we learn techniques for presenting in English if English is not your native language. This course is very useful for me, since I often have to make presentations in English. In addition to my medicine studies, I am also carrying out PhD research at the Pathology department of the LUMC, under the supervision of Dr I.M. Bajema and Prof. Bruijn. I have to present my results at various conferences around the world. With this course, I hope to optimise my presentation techniques. Both courses are very interesting and the lecturers are really passionate about their subject.’

On the beach

Santa Monica with the Pacific Ocean in the background.

Santa Monica with the Pacific Ocean in the background.

‘There is much more to LA than UCLA. The other students and I have spent quite a few days on splendid beaches, such as Santa Monica and Venice Beach. LA lies on the Pacific Ocean and the weather is gorgeous every single day. My favourite beach is Venice Beach (famous from the Californication series), where people lead the real Californian life, rollerblading along the beach, beach cruisers, tattoos, and the like. Santa Monica is really famous for its pier with its ferris wheel and its shopping street, where dozens of street musicians gather every day.’


Helpful and social

‘What I really noticed in LA is that everybody is very helpful and social. On the beach, people keep walking up to us to have a chat, and if you ask for directions, they really do their best to help you find what you’re looking for.’

Arda Göceroglu,
Los Angeles.

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Last Modified: 20-07-2011