Crystal Yu

Resource SpecializationGlobal Health, Food Security & Environmental Sustainability
Region SpecializationAsia
HometownVancouver, BC, Canada

I started out in the faculty of Arts for 2 years at UBC. For as long as I could remember, I was always interested in food, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. I was more interested in the socio-cultural and environmental factors relating to food but hadn’t known much about this topic. The topics seemed interconnected but are often split up and studied in different disciplines.

In my second year at UBC, I took FNH 200 (Exploring Our Food) and ANTH 210 (Eating Culture) as my electives. These two courses introduced me to food security and nutrition. I fell in love with these two courses and truly wanted to make a difference relating to food security. This was around the time where I came across the GRS program.

The 12 day APRU Undergraduate Leaders’ Program gave me the opportunity to meet 52 other undergraduate students from 28 universities across the globe, network, and make new connections. At the program, I worked with an interdisciplinary group on a local public health problem relating to reducing HIV infection rates in rural communities. By participating in this international experience, I learned to understand different cultural perspectives and think of unique and feasible solutions that I would have never thought about. Furthermore, it has given me the chance to work on adapting to changes, being flexible, innovative, and open to different perspectives and ideas. This experience has helped me grow mentally, to think critically and adapt to change, which I believe has helped me immensely in my coop placements.

I love the GRS program because it gives me the opportunity to follow my passions and interests, connect and feel inspired by other students, and to continue striving to making a positive and meaningful difference. GRS program has also allowed me to combine all my interests together instead of only studying them in silos! I truly thank GRS for the things I have learned, for inspiring me, and for equipping me with tools to take on challenges outside of the educational setting.