"It was a great way to get to know other students from different courses and years."

At Cambridge, I joined my college boat club as a coxswain. Rowing is a popular sport and has a long history at the university. Most notably, the Oxford-Cambridge boat race is held on the Thames in London and attracts thousands of spectators every year. The coxswain steers the boat and also directs the rowers. During practice, this means leading drills, correcting technique and communicating with the coaches and other boats on the river. A more exciting aspect of coxing is during races, when you need to complete normal tasks but more importantly, motivate the crew and execute your race plan. Coxing requires a lot of mental focus and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations. I absolutely loved being part of my college boat club. It was a great way to get to know other students from different courses and years. I was also able to take part in many fun rowing traditions, like wearing boat club “stash” (sporty gear), attending end-of-term boat club dinners, and racing in unique races called bumps. Because I was involved with rowing throughout the entire year, I ended up being the crew captain of my boat during the spring term. My experience rowing speaks more broadly to the importance of joining extracurricular activities and clubs while abroad. Rowing offered a fantastic opportunity to be more involved with the community at Cambridge and take part in a famous and popular tradition at the university.