Seven Questions with... Charlotte Yung
18 November 2022
This week we meet final-year student Charlotte Yung. Here, she chats to us about working as a workshop leader for the Active Bystander Programme, London's best walking spots and her top tips for finding deals on theatre tickets.
What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
I’m currently in my final year of International Social and Political Studies (ISPS). I have been specialising in International Relations, Comparative and European Politics and Spanish, and find it fascinating to learn about how democracies and governments work on a national, regional, and international level. I’m not sure exactly where I’m going but I have always wanted to help others and make a difference so working in non-governmental organisations, public policy or international organisations would be a good fit for me!
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen, or got involved with while at UCL?
Apart from contributing in arts societies, being a workshop leader for the Active Bystander Programme is one of the greatest highlights of my time at UCL. The programme aims to train students to recognise and challenge unacceptable behaviour while working to make UCL a safer and more inclusive community. I find this to be particularly fulfilling. Being part of the programme has enabled me to meet inspiring UCL students who share the same passion about fighting against discrimination, sexual misconduct, and harassment.
Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
I spend most of my time in the Student Centre – when I can find a seat – but only recently realised that there are lockers on several floors of the building. They allow you to leave some of your belongings at UCL overnight (or over the weekend) and have been life-changing in busy periods, saving me from carrying my library books or water bottle between home and UCL every day. The only downside is that you have to make sure you’re on campus before 10am to retrieve your things (or book another locker), otherwise you will be banned from renting them for a whole week – yes, I’m talking from experience here…
Another hidden gem I discovered while working for the Active Bystander Programme is the Safe Zone app, which allows you to call security or emergency services at the touch of a button. You can also “check in” with security if you feel unsafe travelling home or working alone. I’m hoping no one will find themselves in need of it but I think it’s a must-have app.
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:
- West End shows. If you’re a fan of musicals like me, you can’t miss out on classics like Wicked, the Lion King and Mamma Mia during your time here. The theatres are all quite close to UCL and there’s a huge variety of shows to choose from, so you have no excuse not to go! Pro tip: you can get rush tickets on the day of the show via the Today Tix app for some musicals – great seats are available at just 20 to 30 pounds.
- Walk along the Grand Union Canal. The best things in London are free and the relaxing walk along the canal will take you through King’s Cross, Camden, Regent’s Park and Little Venice!
- Discover Christmas decorations. If you’re in London during winter, you simply must take some time to wander around the city and take in the amazing decorations and festive lights.
What’s one thing you’d like to see in a post-COVID world?
I feel like the pandemic has strengthened our sense of community through sharing similar experiences. If there’s one thing that’s continues in a post-COVID world, I hope it’s this. The world would be a better place if everyone strived to be kinder and more attentive to one another. I truly believe that a little extra kindness can go a long way!
Who inspires you and why?
It’s very cliché, but I am most inspired by the people I got to meet during my time at UCL – whether from my department, societies, or the Student’s Union. Their perseverance and passion inspire me to be the best version of myself, fight for my values and put 100% into what I do.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
Something that regularly shocks people is that, as a French person, I absolutely hate cheese – apart from very specific dishes. Don’t worry though, I love wine!