CAS '19 Peter Lenchur

SA: University of Sydney

Program Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): University of Sydney, Australia

Ask me about...

  • The important skills you learn abroad that relate to being a future doctor 

  • Planning ahead/How to fit classes in while being on a pre-med track

My Experience Abroad:

As a pre-med student majoring in BBB [Biological Basis of Behavior], it was extremely difficult to make the decision to go abroad but my decision to study abroad in Sydney, Australia was hands down the best decision I've ever made. Not only was I able to explore classes outside of the realm of my major and science, but I was also able to take and excel in a class for my major that will most likely end up being my favorite class in college. The class, Concepts of Neuroanatomy, allowed me to learn hands-on, examining authentic brains and spinal cords every week on the beautiful campus of the University of Sydney. I learned more about the anatomy of the nervous system than I could have ever imagined and connected with my professor in a way that I have not connected with a science professor at Penn.

Outside of the science realm, I had the opportunity to take two amazing classes: Sport and Learning in Australian Culture and Learning in Outdoor Education. These classes were some of the first classes I’ve taken that were not related to my major, the pre-med track, or sector/divisional requirements. I was finally able to immerse myself in a culture that I was unfamiliar with and learn outside of the classroom. As part of the Australian Sports class, we would watch rugby games, Australian Rules Football games, soccer games, greyhound races, and more almost every weekend. As part of the Learning in Outdoors class, we took a day trip to hike the Royal National Park and a weekend camping trip to hike the Blue Mountains for close to 20 miles (not your typical class requirement). These were some classes that forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and because of that, they gave me some of the best educational experiences any Penn student could ask for. I want to encourage as many pre-med students as possible to go abroad because it’s an experience that can totally change students’ perspectives.

Other Highlights:

  • Taking the train and ferry to either Manly, Bondi, or Bronte beach every Sunday and watching the sunset over the Sydney harbor and opera house

  • Hiking the Blue Mountains and camping in an old cabin for a weekend as part of a class with students who I didn’t know at all before and would become close with

  • Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving, and bungee jumping from 164 ft above the ground all in a 3-day span

  • Taking a week trip to Thailand with my closest friends abroad and riding elephants, seeing the Big Buddha, and hitting the Full Moon Island Party

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