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Razan Algharbeh

Medicine (Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery) MBBS - Fourth Year

Born in Jordan but educated in Saudi Arabia, Razan cites the difference in education styles between the Middle East and the UK as “massive” and commends UCLan for helping her to feel more empowered.

It’s not an easy decision when looking at universities and courses, but UCLan is one of the best decisions I have made. It has been life-changing for me, so I definitely recommend it.

The difference between British education compared to Saudi Arabia is massive. Back there it is difficult for females to gain experience and placements; it feels different over here not being discriminated against. In this sense Saudi Arabia has changed a lot now, which I am glad about but over here it’s very empowering for women.

I am enjoy the teaching style at UCLan, because it is not traditional and it more practical – I enjoy being up and about. The Tutors and Professors are so supportive too, they listen to our feedback and amend things if needed. Placements start in Year 1 so you can really see your progress and since starting the MBBS course in September 2015 I have completed placements in various parts of Lancashire, including Preston, Blackburn and Blackpool.

Razan Algharbeh

The highlight of my time at UCLan so far was the Health Mela, where the general public are invited to come for all kinds of health checks and other therapies. It was incredible, we had over 500 walk-ins in one day and I learned so much.

In the 1st Year the MBBS students were taken to Wales for a team-building exercise which was great. It was challenging and took us out of our comfort zone but it helped me to get to know my classmates personally and I went canoeing which I had never done before! It is really easy to make new friends here and if you make the effort you will get the rewards. For example, from Year 1 I have been involved in so many things, volunteering and joining societies, which has really helped.

My application to the course was quite late, so when organising accommodation the normal MBBS halls of residence (Boatmans Court) was full. This wasn’t a problem though because there’s plenty of accommodation at UCLan, so I ended up staying at different halls of residence, and the student accommodation is close to campus. Before applying to UCLan I visited other universities, but I preferred it here and it was the campus layout that I really liked.

Preston is a nice, safe place to live - even though I’m not very fond of the weather! I have come from 30 degrees minimum, where it hardly snows or rains to here where you can see all 4 seasons in one day. At home when it rains we don’t go to work! But I have found tastes of home in a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant, which was a huge surprise. It’s my favourite and for any other foodies out there Preston is the place to be because there’s so much diversity in a relatively small city. Even if I leave the library at 3am there are food places open and you hardly need transport to get around here – the furthest you need to walk is 10 minutes.

Whether studying Medicine or not, university life has its ups, downs and challenges. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and you won’t regret it. Since joining UCLan my personality has changed for the better compared to the girl I was in Year 1.

11 April 2019