We were going to the greatest and highest ranked university in the world. A place that is essentially the definition of prestigious. Nervous. Excited. Ready. All perfect adjectives to describe our feelings. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
So, it all started on our trip down to Sydney, to get our Visa. A one night trip, consisting of a 15-minute interview, freezing cold weather and a few beers to warm us up. Our Visas were approved and next stop was Los Angeles, California! LAX was a nightmare, but LA was beautiful. Our sights were set on Cambridge, however. We landed in Boston and took the train to Cambridge, having not slept in a bed for 48 hours, but what we saw put us completely off sleep. Glimpses of Harvard can be seen everywhere as the University is sprawled all over the beautiful city. The simple, yet sophisticated architecture of the buildings gave a nod to the history of this place. Shocked. In-awe. Mesmerised. All words to describe how we felt as we laid eyes on “The Quad” for the first time, the dormitories where Harvard Students stay and our home for the next 3 weeks. To think the likes of Roosevelt, Gates, Granholm, Portman, Obama, Zuckerberg, Kennedy and many, many more, stayed within these rooms is incredible.
As you would expect, the course was full on, with two assignments due within the first three days. However, the course we were studying- Sustainable Finance and Investments, was extremely interesting and applicable to today’s current affairs. The people we met in the course were also fascinating. From undergraduates like us to people who had been working in the industry for over 20 years, our class of 72 people had it all. People from Spain, Germany, Pakistan, England, Columbia, Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, China, India and Brazil- our class was extremely diverse. The discussions were my personal favourite, where people answered questions through giving their own insights and experiences, which was very interesting to hear about.
I was never planning on doing an exchange during my degree, however, when I heard that you can do a short term 3 week exchange, I was very interested. Exploring Los Angeles, New York and Boston with mates was an incredible experience, that I never thought I would be able to experience while studying at the same time. I would definitely recommend anyone to go and if the last few paragraphs can’t convince you, imagine how good Harvard would look on your Resume!
By Stephen Templar and Adit Kapadia