After moving across the world to study at the University of Aberdeen, Romina Guzman Barron is excited to be graduating with her MSc in Molecular Medicine.
Leaving behind her home, family and friends in Mexico, Romina made the brave move to Scotland – more than 8,000km away.
She says: “It was always my dream to study molecular medicine, since the day I decided to become a researcher. Aberdeen had the best program to offer and the warmth the University gave off was exceptional. I didn’t have to think twice before choosing to study here.
“Since day one it felt so welcoming. The people, the place, everything and everyone was so polite and approachable.
“I felt so lost when I got here and everyone was willing to lend a hand to help me. It was a new place and a different language, as well as the first time I left my country and being so far away from my family and friends. It was a big change for me.
“All the odds were against me from the start, but I was so relieved it was possible for me to fulfil this dream of mine – it’s something I had dreamed of for years.”
Being so far away from home was hard for Romina, but she soon found a community here in Aberdeen to support her through the challenges and enjoy University life with.
“The Mexican community in Aberdeen is so lovely. They make you feel just like home. I had the pleasure of becoming part of this big family and even became the president of the Mexican Culture Society during a term.
“It was an amazing experience that I never thought I could be part of. They made missing my family and country a bit less difficult.”
With Romina’s time at the University now at an end, it doesn’t mean she’s planning on saying goodbye to Aberdeen or Scotland just yet. She’s excited about contributing to UK research and leaving her mark on the scientific community.
“I do feel relieved because even though I enjoyed it 110%, it has also been difficult. But at the same time it is also sad, because I don’t want this incredible adventure to end.
“It makes me feel immensely proud of myself for being able to have come this far, considering how hard it was for me to even step out of my own country. I know my parents, siblings and all my family feel so proud of me right now. It fills my heart with happiness.
“My plan for the future is to continue pursuing my dreams. Becoming a scientific researcher doesn’t end here, it is a long journey.
“I still have a lot to give to and learn from the UK and the scientific community here.”