Seven questions with... Haruna Doi

UCL student Haruna Doi. She is smiling, standing outside on a tree-lined avenue
UCL student Haruna Doi. She is smiling, standing outside on a tree-lined avenue in a park.
This week we talk to BSc Psychology student Haruna Doi about finding your way in a completely new country, the importance of accessible education... and where to get the best bubble tea on campus.

What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?

I just finished studying BSc Psychology at UCL. I find it fascinating how unique an individual’s perspective can be. For example, two people experiencing the same exact event could have two vastly different understandings because of their difference in their biology, cognition, or previous experiences. I would say that studying psychology has helped me to become more open-minded.

In the future, I hope to become a policymaker in order to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights. I hope to utilize the open-mindedness I fostered to work towards this goal.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?

I worked as an Events Coordinator for the UCL Japan Society in my final year. Coming to a completely new country for university was nerve-racking but the Japan Society and the community I met through the society helped me settle in smoothly. In a way, becoming the Events Coordinator was my way of giving back to the society and helping others who may also feel scared or lost find their comfort people. Working as the Events Coordinator was challenging yet SO fulfilling! My highlight was inviting Urasenke London, a professional tea ceremony company, to organize a tea ceremony workshop with UCL students.

Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?

The bubble tea at The Engineering Cafe - it’s delicious and affordable!

Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:

  • West End shows - My favorites are To Kill a Mockingbird and Hamilton!
  • Screen On The Canal - It’s a free open-air film screening near King’s Cross and it’s the perfect way to spend a summer day in London.
  • St Paul’s Cathedral - This was one of the first places I visited when I first got to London and I was absolutely in awe of its beauty and its history.

What’s one thing you’d like to see in a post-Covid world?

I hope to see education become more accessible. With many schools shutting down during Covid, I feel that we need to re-evaluate the way in which we deliver education. Whether it’s online courses for those with physical accessibility needs or in-person classes for those with limited access to digital resources, I would like to see a flexible educational system, which considers a wide variety of needs, in order to deliver high-quality education to as many students as possible.

Who inspires you and why?

My mom inspires me the most. I know it’s a cliché but as I get older, I see how much of an influence she has on the person I am today and the aspirations I have. Ever since I was little she taught me, by example, that no matter how difficult a task is, you can always persevere through it as long as you’re doing it for someone you care about. As I move into the human rights field, I hope to build the same kind of selflessness, resilience, and determination my mom has when it comes to helping others.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

When I was choosing my university, I was deterred by the fact UCL was in London because I was scared it would be too much of a city for me. Now, I am very much a London snob and gutted by the thought of leaving.
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