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A Newfound Love for New York, a Lifelong Passion for Psychology

About: College Junior from California
Major/Minor: Psychology; Biological Sciences
Columbia Program: Visiting Students, Undergraduate
Columbia Course: The Science of Psychology (Summer Session B) 

As Queenie Liu inches closer to graduation from the University of California, Irvine, she’s exploring and learning as much as she can about the expansive field of psychology. It’s what led her to apply for the 2022 Columbia University Summer Session as a visiting undergraduate student. With plans to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Liu took Columbia’s The Science of Psychology course during Session B (July 5–August 12). Offered by the Columbia Department of Psychology, the course provides an introduction to the science of human behavior.

Liu was immediately drawn to the breadth of topics—including brain function and development, social behaviors, and treatment options for mental illnesses—and the opportunity to design research. She also found value in the highly interactive nature of the course. “Since the course was relatively small—it consisted of about 20 students—it was easier for me to engage with other students and teaching assistants about the course material. I also appreciate Professor Tina Kao’s profound interest in the topic, as she often relates her own research findings to the lectures,” Liu says. She praises the course, especially the research design assignment, for deepening her interest in research and helping her to refine her goals and studies. 

The Columbia University Summer Session also unlocked Liu’s “newfound love for New York City” and friendships. “The campus never ceases to amaze me with its beauty,” Liu shares. She often spent her downtime on the steps of Butler Library during sunsets, admiring Columbia’s architecture and ambiance. She also maximized her experience by attending events she discovered through SPS Engage and making new friends in the process. “I enjoy riding the Citi Bikes around the city, meeting new friends at nearby cafés, and even attending the diverse events that SPS offers, like the LinkedIn Headshot event and sports outings.” 

For those interested in joining the program, Liu said not to be afraid to branch out and try new things and explore life’s many possibilities: “I have made multiple good friends from this program—many of whom are also visiting students and live as far away as Iceland. It is an amazing opportunity to engage with people from different academic and social backgrounds. You can make the summer work for you however you want—that’s the best part!”

Explore options for visiting students during the Columbia University Summer Session.