Cyprus | Final Thoughts! Physics is Over Forever! No More Gyros!


Physics is over! The program just ended yesterday and I’m currently on a flight out of Nicosia and to Naples. Yesterday we took our last exam, which was extremely hard, and submitted our last lab reports! The last couples of days were pretty stressful since we were finishing up our final lab reports and trying to cram in as much information as possible. It was also incredibly bittersweet and filled with goodbyes and lots of hugs. A couple days ago we had our farewell dinner with everyone, including Global Semesters and the program coordinators. It’s so sad to think about how we’ve all split from Nicosia, but most people are traveling around Europe afterwards and we’re all trying to make plans to meet up.

I’m really happy to be done with physics but there are several things from this summer that I’m going to miss. I’m going to miss Cow, the dog that lived next door to us, and all of the stray cats on the island. Cyprus is almost overrun with stray cats, and it’s really easy to get attached to all the neighborhood cats. I’m also really going to miss daily gyros and fries, late night runs to the bakery, and most importantly the milkshakes from Pieto’s.

The absolute best part of this summer were my two best friends and roommates. I’m so lucky to have spent the last couple of weeks with two of the most amazing people in the world. My roommates are so incredible, they made studying physics nonstop almost entertaining and are the only two people who could make me laugh when I wanted to throw my notebook across the room. This program really provided me the opportunity to create some a significant and meaningful friendship that I will cherish forever. In a program that’s this intensive and small it’s hard to not make life long friends. We all go to the same classes, eat meals together every day, live in the same apartment buildings, and study together. When you’re in close proximity with the same couple of people every single day they all become really special and so it was a little heartbreaking to have to say goodbye.

Would I recommend this program? Before going on a physics intensive program I would advise that you really assess what you want out of your study abroad experience. If you are looking for a fun study abroad experience to get a couple credits, and to relax I would definitely NOT recommend this program. The physics program has a reputation for being an easy way to get the physics series completed, but in reality it’s pretty difficult. Most of our time and energy was devoted to school since there was an insane amount of material to learn and understand in just a couple of weeks. I WOULD recommend this program if you’re looking for a practical way to get through the physics series, but you really have to keep in mind that this program isn’t really about “being abroad” and more about studying. It’s a really practical way to get through Physics but definitely not the easiest. Overall I really loved my time in Cyprus. I shared it with the most amazing people, had French fries for almost every meal, got to visit so many beautiful beach towns, and learned so much about an island I would have otherwise never visited on my own. I’m so excited to go back to UCLA and reunite with everyone, even though I’ll probably wait a year before having another gyro.

My friend Grace made a YouTube video documenting the last half of our trip!

Arisa Dhiensiri studied abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, in summer 2018:

Ireland | Study Techniques


So by now I think I’ve pretty much nailed down my study techniques for this physics program. I do realize that everyone learns differently so some of these techniques might not work for everyone, but I will try to keep it general enough to apply to a wide variety of learners, yet specific enough to give you ideas of how I learned a year of physics in eight weeks.


I know it’s easy to go to 9am lecture and sit on your phone or let the material go right over your head, but paying attention will make learning the material and studying later a million times easier. Do what you need to keep yourself awake and attentive during lecture. Bring snacks, drink some coffee, etc. You will sit through two hours of lecture every day, so be sure to pay attention. I use highlighters and pens to take notes and keep track of important information.


You will have two hours of tutorial twice a week in which you work through a problem set in a group of three. I feel like I learned everything during tutorial (in terms of learning to do the actual problems). Please please please don’t just use Chegg to get all the answers down and leave as fast as you can. You’re only hurting yourself this way because while you may get good scores on tutorials and get out faster, you are not actually learning the material that you will need to know for tests. Staying late is more than worth it if you understand how to do the problems that will be very similar to test problems.


If possible, try to take notes on each lecture the day that it is given. This will help you stay on top of the material, ensuring that you understand it as you go along. The material does build on itself so it just makes it more and more difficult to understand if you are further behind. I found that color coding and highlighting worked really well for my learning style. This is especially useful when you get to the light unit. You’ll have a bunch of light rays all over the page, so color coding will help you keep everything in check. More than anything it just looks really nice and makes it a bit more pleasant to go back and review you’re notes when they are easy to read. The professor typically does several example problems in class so go back and redo those problems on your own as well to ensure your own understanding.


The tutorial problems are very similar to the test problems, so I would recommend going back and redoing the tutorial problems on your own a second time. It should be significantly easier the second time and then if it’s not, you know you need to study that material a bit more.


Crash course was a lifesaver. Do not use this alone to learn the material, but I usually watched crash course during the break between lecture and lunch to recap what we learned in a short video that didn’t take too much brain power. There is an entire crash course physics playlist that pretty much covers every topic in the course.


This man knows everything there is to know about physics so just check out his videos if you need any extra help.

Not gonna lie, the course will be challenging and stressful, but I promise you are going to be ok. There will probably be times when you feel like you’re going to fail, but you will be fine. They do everything they can to help you succeed so please don’t let the stress ruin your time in Ireland or prevent you from having fun on the weekends. Good luck studying!!

Grace Heart studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland, in Summer 2017: