Campus & community, People, Profiles

New student Berge Sievers on why the heart is so captivating

a person wearing round glasses and a blue collared shirt sits on a stone bench outside and smiles
Berge Sievers is a first-year student from Dusseldorf, Germany, who plans to apply to the Life Science, Business and Entrepreneurship Program.

Brittany Hosea-Small for UC Berkeley

This Q&A is part of a series of new student profiles for our 2023 back-to-school coverage. Have someone you think we should write about? Contact [email protected].

Berkeley News: Where are you from?

Berge Sievers: Dusseldorf, Germany. I got here about a week ago. My parents moved me in, along with my twin brother, who is going to Tufts University.

What brought you to Berkeley?

Berkeley was one of my top choices. It seems like it will have a good mix of academics and social life. And I think that’s what really drew me here. I think the college experience in America is unlike any other place. I also went to an international school and took the IB (International Baccalaureate), so it was convenient for me to go to school in the U.S.

How is international school different from traditional high school in Germany?

You can take classes that aren’t offered in public schools, like psychology, for example.

What sorts of things did you do growing up? What were you interested in?

I’m a DJ, so I love to make music and play music. I used to skate, I want to pick that up again. I play tennis. I’m a big F1 guy, I like to watch Formula One racing.

What do you plan to study at Berkeley?

I am going to apply to the Life Science, Business and Entrepreneurship Program my second year. I have a big business interest, but I might want to go into medicine, too. Also, because I took bio in high school, and I loved it. So, it kind of combines my two sides together academically. I thought it was a nice path to take.

What do you like about biology?

I like the intricacies of the body, so I really like understanding how our bodies work. I love the heart. My dad is a cardiologist. So, that’s kind of how I got into it. I wrote a case report last year with my brother under the supervision of our dad about our grandmother’s heart failure. My dad treated her and we were doing the research into what caused it we looked at all the paperwork and EKGs and found that it was a simultaneous occurrence of three different heart diseases, which is really rare. We got it published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine.

What about the heart interests you?

It allows our whole body to function. I’ve done a few research internships and looked into different diseases and how they can be cured. The heart has all these different valves, for instance, and everything is so precise that’s what I find super captivating!

Do you want to be a cardiologist?

Yeah, or a neurologist. I’m still torn, though. I might want to do something else. One thing that draws me to medicine, though, is that you can go home from work and say, I saved a life. I think that’s the most amazing thing about it.

Do you and your twin brother have similar interests? Do you think about opening a medical practice together in the future?

Yeah, definitely. We’re on the exact same track. We’re really close. Sometimes we have twin telepathy. I’ll say something, and he’ll finish my sentence or say, I was just thinking that!”