March 27, 2020, by International students
International Student Ambassadors: Leo from Canada
Leo is a Canadian student who is studying MPharm Pharmacy
Why did you choose the University of Nottingham?
The University of Nottingham has a renowned pharmacy program that is heavily involved in research and continuously been ranked as a top 10 program in the world. I chose this University because of its elite program but also because of the global connectedness this university provides. This university currently has campuses in Nottingham, China as well as Malaysia, therefore, holding global presence and preparing international students like me in an international environment. Additionally, the University has a large portion of international students. Each student brings part of their cultural identity in forming a multi-cultural environment at the University. Finally, I very much value extra-curriculars and Nottingham offers countless societies ranging from culture groups to sports teams. These clubs can expand my interests as well as continue my existing interests.
What is your favourite thing about the University of Nottingham?
Many aspects of the University are tailored to suit student life. For example, libraries have 24hours computer rooms for students who need to complete assignments and each student is provided a tutor who is available to provide both academic and personal support. On Wednesday, all lectures end at one o’clock and for students with a full weekly schedule, there is designated time to take a break or partake in stress relief physical activities. Hence, my favourite part about the University of Nottingham is that student life planners try their best in making university life as easy and accommodating to the students.
What is the best thing about your course?
Starting from the first year, we are given the opportunity to learn directly from practising pharmacists as well as patients. This allows students to apply knowledge and skills learned within the course. Additionally, drugs and medicine are taught in modules called DMPs. This provides an integrated form of teaching that simultaneously introduces concepts of practice, science, and professional competencies. Finally, every lecturer makes themselves available after lectures for guidance and questions, hence, if students still feel uncomfortable about concepts throughout the week, they can seek help from the professor that directly teaches the content. Overall, the course is designed specifically in preparation for students to become top-quality pharmacists.
What societies have you got involved with?
I am currently part of several societies. The student union offers a plethora of opportunities to join societies and enrich our life outside of academics. I am glad to be part of the university’s ice hockey team because this is a sport that I have been playing since the age of 7. Besides continuing old activities, I also joined the mixed martial arts society. This is a sport I haven’t really tried before university; however, I have decided to try out a new sport and decided to join another one of the University’s most popular combat sports. Last but not least, I also joined the Association of British and Chinese University Students (ABACUS). Although I have made several friends from England and abroad, at the end of the day, it is good to celebrate the culture that I grew up with alongside others who are a part of the same culture. The university has numerous cultural societies and anyone can find a society that celebrates culture dear to them.
What are you planning to do next with your career?
Right after earning my degree, I hope to first practice a few years of pharmacy in England so that I can gain a perspective of British healthcare and pharmacy. Later, I will seek an opportunity to work in non-governmental organisations such as the World Health Organisation. In the past I have always been involved with my high school’s Model United Nations, hence, I know the effect of such organisations on the world’s well-being and I hope to utilise my knowledge and skills in pharmacy to perhaps impact the world for the better. Towards the end of my career, I may consider returning to my home country of Canada and work in the pharmaceutical industry.
What would be your top tips for a new international student starting at the University of Nottingham in their first year?
My top tip would be to prepare yourself for the best years of your life and stay open-minded. At university, you will meet both home and international students from a large number of countries that you might have never visited. Being an international student may present certain culture shocks, however, these are all great learning opportunities and in the month that I have had to adapt to university life may also be the month that I have learned the most in my entire life. Also, it is important to take risks and try out new things such as activities, sports, or joining societies. Without taking risks, I wouldn’t have the friends that I am so tight with right now or be part of the wonderful societies that I am in right now.
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