Like most people who have visited the UK before, Apoorva had only experienced London before his arrival in Preston to study Medicine at UCLan. Originally from India he has grown up in Dubai from a young age and now he is fully immersing himself into student life whilst coming of age at our University.
When I realised that I wanted to study medicine and learned that the fees were the same in India and in the UK, I knew I was going to choose the UK because I’d been told how a UK degree commands more respect and holds more value around the world. Next I needed to choose a university and UCLan stood out as the more established compared to my other UK options.
My first impressions were very good. Everyone was so helpful here from the time I arrived at Preston Train Station, there were Student Ambassadors in red jackets ready to show me the way to campus. From here I went to The <i> in the library where all students register on their first few days and this was such a smooth process. In general, everyone in the UK is so helpful and they always ask: “You alright?”!
One of my first experiences on the Medicine course was a trip to Wales which was not academic at all, but more aimed at bonding with tutors and meeting new people. I have close friends now because of this trip, it really helped with team building.
In my first year I have enjoyed the lab sessions, which are mainly for anatomy, but to be honest the whole year has been enjoyable. I like that we interact with real patients who volunteer to come to the University so we can practice our skills – lots of Schools don’t have this and it really builds confidence. The main difference between education here compared to the Indian curriculum that I have studied previously is the practical nature of the course in the UK. In our first year here we focussed on skills, whereas in India it’s more theoretical and you learn from a book. A Year 1 student in India would have better knowledge, but we have better skills – the knowledge will come over the 5 year course though.
The most special part of my time at UCLan so far has been the GP Placement. On our course we do two types of placement: GP and Community. Recently I finished the GP Placement which was two weeks long and helped me to understand and progress more of the theory I have learned.
Initially I lived in Boatmans Court, which is where most of the Medicine students are based. This was good because it allowed me to meet lots of new, like-minded people, however, next year I am moving to some nearby private accommodation called Tramshed. You can walk anywhere you need to be in Preston in around 10 minutes, so I’ll still be close to campus.
If you are considering studying at UCLan I would definitely advise you to come; it’s a very good university. I am learning amongst people who know a lot because I came straight from high school and on my course most people already have a degree! I have not had a single moment of being bored since being here – yes, I have to study a lot but because it is a smaller city you can really focus on your studies. When you want to relax you can visit nearby cities like Manchester or Liverpool, but honestly I always think how much I would dislike studying in these bigger cities because there are too many distractions.
Growing up I lived in Dubai where it is hot with no rain, then I came to Preston where it’s cold with lots of rain! It can be annoying when it rains, but I am used to it now and in summer when the sun is shining it’s good.
In my spare time I like to use the free University gym (Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre) for various things: fitness, badminton, squash, basketball and tennis. I was the Secretary of the Tennis Society this year which was great because I made friends from Iran, China, Europe and the UK. There are quite a few Indian people here too and when I want a reminder of home I go to a restaurant called RK Sweets – the Dosa is my favourite! My final piece of advice for international students, especially Medicine students, would be to join a different society (like I did with Tennis!) – I would highly recommend this to meet new and different people who you can socialise with away from your studies here at UCLan.
12 June 2019