A star student is set to swap the seafront of Hartlepool for the Californian coast as she prepares to study in the US for a year.
Biomedical sciences student Jennifer Litherland is to say goodbye to the labs of the University of Sunderland and move to San Diego.
Her study subject wasn’t a natural career progression for the 29-year old-student, whose skills in languages set her on a different path.
“I thought about it long and hard and couldn’t resist the siren song of science, which has been calling me for a long time now,” said Jennifer, of Hartlepool.
“I didn’t know biomedical science was a degree option until I saw it on the UCAS search.
“I did want to study the medical aspects of biology, but was always interested in going into research, rather than going into pharmacology or medicine. So this degree seemed like an ideal fit.”
Now Jennifer is preparing to spend the next year studying at San Diego University – where she will be the first biomedical sciences student from the University of Sunderland ever to take part in study abroad.
Jennifer is pleased to be adding international study on to her CV and is already making plans for when she completes her degree.
“Part of what I hope to get out of my time in San Diego is the ability to visit some of the departments or researchers based in the US that I would like to apply to.
“San Diego State University also offers the opportunity for undergraduate students to work in active research labs. After reaching out to one of the professors there, I’ve already managed to schedule an interview and lab orientation.
“As soon as I graduate I’m planning on going on to a PhD in neuroscience.
“On the more fun side of things, there’s a bay in San Diego where, if conditions are just right, I might get to see an incredible bioluminescent tide.
“This is something I’d love to cross off my bucket list, but I don’t know if the current El Nino conditions will let it happen.”