Meet the Students of CGS: Nidhi Bhagat
Major in human physiology
January Boston-London Program
What made you want to pursue a major in human physiology, and were you undecided when you entered CGS?
I knew I wanted to do human physiology. I took a class in high school – anatomy and physiology — and I really fell in love with studying the human body. BU was the only school in the area that had that program.
What are some of your extra-curricular activities?
On campus, I’m involved with Red Cross Volunteers and I’m the secretary for Habitat for Humanity. Red Cross has been really meaningful because I get to explore Boston and help around, and volunteer in the Boston Marathon too.
What is your dream job?
I want to be a dentist, so right now I’m doing pre-dental. I’m applying to colleges this June.
Tell us something fun about yourself!
I went on an outreach program trip to Peru last summer for two weeks. That was really fun, and every summer I’ve been in college, I’ve gone to a new country. Freshmen year I went to London, and then last year I went to Peru, so hopefully I’ll get to go somewhere this year.
Tell us more about your trip to Peru. What was it like?
I went as a dental volunteer as part of Volunteers Around the World. A friend from BU and I joined a team of some amazing girls. All of us got to live and closely connect with host families and experience life as Peruvian residents. We went to a girls’ orphanage in Cusco for Education Day, and we also visited an elderly home where we got to throw a party for Independence Day and dance with the elderly to some traditional Peruvian music. During the second week of the trip, we set up a clinic in a small room of a building in a Peruvian village, and had the opportunity to give dental care to the residents by assisting and shadowing dentists. Each volunteer was exposed to a different station involved in running a clinic, including intake, vitals, shadowing, and sterilization.
What did you do with your gap semester before you came to BU?
I took three classes at UMass Lowell, which is a state school near my house. I caught up on all my credits and I’m really ahead right now, so I have light semesters.
What was the most memorable part of the London semester?
It’s hard to choose. I love all the trips we went on, all the places– even outside the program– exploring everywhere, every day. I loved the first trip. It was the second day we were there, in Greenwich – the boat ride across the Thames. And also, Stonehenge and Bath. I loved both those trips.
What value did the College of General Studies provide to your education?
It helped me develop my writing skills and knowledge about other subjects– less science, more humanities and social science– to help me build a general studies base. Also, living as a resident in a different country with a host family, even for a short amount of time, gives you a much more immersive experience with the culture and people, than just being a tourist. Because of CGS, I got to live in London as a resident and have such an intimate experience with the city than I would’ve had going as a tourist. After that experience, I was able to go to a different country to live again as a resident in a home. I don’t think I would’ve had the guts to go on such a trip, if I hadn’t gone to London for six weeks the year before. Both of these transformative experiences abroad have been, to say the least, amazing! I still can’t believe I can say, “I’ve studied in London, and volunteered in Peru.”
How have relationships with professors lasted past CGS?
I mostly stay in touch with Professor Benjamin Varat. I’ve only gone back to visit once this semester, but I plan going to visit more often. It’s just nice talking to him about stuff besides school and what’s been going on. We had debates about the Patriots and Steelers.
If you could give one tip to incoming freshmen, what would it be?
As soon as possible, try to learn how to manage your time. It’s harder than it seems. Just stay focused in school, but learn to have fun along the way.