In Germany, fifth-​​year student finds science and self

by Angela Herring of news@Northeastern

North­eastern fifth-​​year stu­dent Dessislava Bogoeva was born in Bul­garia and moved to the United States at age 10. Now she feels like she can call Ger­many her third home after taking advan­tage of sev­eral dynamic expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties in the western Euro­pean nation.

Bogoeva’s global expe­ri­ences have all focused on her pas­sion for studying biology, which dou­bles as her major at North­eastern. On co-​​op at the Leibniz Uni­ver­sity  in 2010, for example, she worked on a project genet­i­cally mod­i­fying cow­peas with pro­fessor Hans-​​Jörg Jacobsen, who is also a vis­iting pro­fessor in Northeastern’s Depart­ment of Biology. “We were putting in genes for draught and dis­ease resis­tance,” said Bogoeva of the research’s impact.

Backed by the sup­port of a Pres­i­den­tial Global Schol­ar­ship, she also worked on co-​​op at the Med­ical School of Han­nover in the fall of 2011. This time she was screening blood and tissue sam­ples from acute myeloid leukemia patients, looking for common muta­tions to help under­stand the genetic basis of the disease.

In addi­tion to these two inter­na­tional co-​​ops, Bogoeva also spent a semester abroad studying at Jacobs Uni­ver­sity in Bremen in 2012.

She noted that these expe­ri­ences have allowed her to expand her knowl­edge of biology and “become the kind of skilled, inter­na­tional cit­izen that a global economy demands.” Studying at Jacobs Uni­ver­sity, for instance, allowed her to immerse her­self in a highly inter­na­tional envi­ron­ment, she said. More than 100 nations world­wide were rep­re­sented in the uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity in which cul­tural bar­riers were often broken.

Bogoeva acknowl­edged that she was hes­i­tant about pur­suing these global endeavors, but added that they have ulti­mately paid enor­mous div­i­dends from both a per­sonal and pro­fes­sional standpoint.

“Going abroad makes you very strong and inde­pen­dent. You return home com­pletely trans­formed,” Bogoeva said. Par­tic­i­pating in an inter­na­tional pro­gram offers many great oppor­tu­ni­ties, she added, but the most impor­tant among them is the oppor­tu­nity to gain a new global perspective.

Upon grad­u­ating this winter, Bogoeva hopes to con­tinue studying cancer biology and has already started applying to grad­uate pro­grams in Germany.

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