Meet Hope's youngest student LuciaThursday 4 February 2016
On Foundation Day, the University’s youngest student is invited to take part in the annual service, which honours Hope’s commitment to social justice and mission to educate the mind, body and spirit.
This year, that student was Lucia Munoz Cabrera, an international student from Spain who joined the Hope community in September as a Psychology undergraduate.
Hailing from Madrid, Lucia’s Spanish heritage is the key to her status as the youngest student at the University.
“The education system in Spain is different to the UK, with students leaving school at 17. This means most undergraduates are 17 or have just turned 18 when they go to University,” Lucia explained.
As a result, Lucia’s decision to study overseas means many of her peers are a year older, but that hasn’t phased the confident student.
She said: “When I first arrived I was worried about the language barrier, but after a few weeks of translating English questions into Spanish in my head and then working out my response in English, I’ve managed to speed up the process!”
Lucia’s love affair with Liverpool has its routes in fleeting trips when visiting a friend living in Yorkshire. Flying in and out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport exposed the Spanish native to the city and sparked her interest in living here.
“After hearing about studying abroad opportunities through a talk at my school, I was keen to explore the idea of doing a psychology degree in the UK,” said Lucia.
“I applied for five different universities – two in Liverpool – but after seeing the campus, I was set on coming to Hope. I’d always wanted to live in Liverpool, and particularly like the way Hope is set in a quiet area outside of the hustle and bustle.”
Leaving home at 17 to study overseas is a big lifestyle change, but for Lucia it provides the opportunity to not only achieve a high-quality and well-respected degree, but also grow as a person.
She said: “In Spain, most people go to university in the city where they are from, and live at home with their parents. Halls of residences are for international students only or those from other cities.
“My parents were sad to see me go, but also happy for me, as it’s a great challenge and opportunity to gain independence.”
It’s early days for the first-year student, but already she is looking to the future.
“I do miss home and my family, but I don’t really miss the busy pace of Madrid. Once I’ve finished my degree I’d like to stay on in the UK and pursue a career in clinical psychology.”