The soft morning light from the breaking dawn slowly seeped through the plane’s cabin window. The warmth calmed my wild heart, pacifying all the jumbled thoughts in my mind. Winter had passed.
Summer was gone. It had been nearly 3 years since I set foot at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) to study medicine. I had now finished the course in Ireland and was returning to Malaysia to pursue further courses at Penang Medical College. Staring out the window, I took a walk down the memory lane...
“Why Ireland when there are loads of local medical school?” “Why to bother going to the other side of the world?” I was bombarded with questions from close friends and family.
Blessed with good fortune I was awarded a government scholarship to study medicine in Ireland.
But this far away country was strange and unknown to me.
At the juncture of signing the scholarship contract, my beloved mother asked repeatedly if I was sure of my commitment. I nodded confidently.
After all, that was a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the world outside of Malaysia.
Thankfully, my past 3 years had been anything but bland. Dublin city might not have the hustle and bustle of London, the romance of Paris, or the passion of Spain,
but it has the beauty that lies in serenity and tranquility which had deeply captivated me.
However, the weather in Ireland is unpredictable and it is a bit wet and cloudy. Besides, the rain ensures green patches of grass and vegetation everywhere, hence Ireland is also known as the emerald island.
Dining outside could be expensive, so most of the time I cooked for myself. After a while, I learnt to appreciate the joy of cooking!
At first, it was hard to get used to the relatively cool weather, the changes of four seasons and the Irish accent, but I am eternally grateful to the local hospitality and friendliness, which made me feel at home eventually.
Initially, lectures started from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, but we were given an hour break in between, so it’s not bad at all! My class was a melting pot of more than 300 students from varying background and nationality.
Under the leadership and motivation of RCSI lecturers, we united and advanced together. Sometimes the students formed small discussion groups to further understand lecture topics.
Although lectures seemed long and never-ending, two out of the five weekdays were dedicated to anatomy and dissection classes which I really looked forward to.
In RCSI, you will be provided with donated bodies for practical sessions! (Something you won’t get from Malaysian education)
In the early part of the second semester, for every class, we had the opportunity to interact with patients who shared their stories of battling with diseases. The interaction allowed us to completely empathise and understand what they were going through, as well as the importance of positive attitude in the treatment process.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy! My life in Ireland was not just about burying my nose in books.
There were various events and activities, including annual International Night, International Food Night, Chocolate Ball and many else.
Apart from that, sports and societies in RCSI allowed students to participate in meaningful activities and expand their social circles while having fun! I was especially active in Penang Medical College Student Association (PMCSA).
Being a part of this association enabled me to present the multiracial and multicultural aspects of Malaysia to the world and let more people know about my homeland.
We celebrated Malaysian festivals in Ireland. We promoted lion dance and yusheng during Chinese New Year. We lighted oil lamps during Deepavali. We even gave each other ‘green packets’ during Eid al-Fitr. These activities were consolation to our homesick heartaches.
In Ireland, we had 3 months long summer break to rejuvenate ourselves. The position of Ireland at North Atlantic makes travelling in Europe very affordable. If you come here, you too can travel around Europe! Most students would seize this opportunity to travel and to broaden their horizons. I was no different.
Travelling in foreign lands had not only helped me de-stress, it had also changed my perspective on the world.
Summer was also the best time to participate in medical research. RCSI focuses on and promotes research and technology. RCSI has a Research Summer School and awards scholarship to students to conduct projects of interest. Students have the opportunity to present their project findings at exhibitions.
Reminiscing the past 3 years, I’ve endured the four seasons and the ups and downs in life. Those fun times are still vivid in my mind. Someone had said Autumn is the season of change and denotes farewells. I arrived at Ireland and bade farewell to this beautiful country at the season of change.
If you asked me would I go back to Ireland for further study? I would say yes without a doubt as I did three years ago.
For those of you who have the opportunity and interest to study in Ireland, do grab this once in a lifetime chance!
Believe me, Ireland will make a great difference to your university career!
What about you?
If you have received your SPM results or about to receive IGCSE results and wants to study medicine in RCSI like Pei Ying?
Choose Dublin International Foundation College (DIFC) to start with!
DIFC partners with many prestigious universities and assist students to progress dream medical schools, including RCSI.
After 8 months of Medicine (Health Science) Foundation in DIFC, you too could stand a chance to progress to a superb medical school such as RCSI!
Dawn Kaur, from Malaysia too studied Medicine Foundation in DIFC and has also successfully progressed to RCSI!
In DIFC, you will receive continuous study abroad support and access to information about college placements, all at the same time of working towards your dreams of studying medicine.
PS: There's even a doctorate-level-lecturer in DIFC to teach Medicine Foundation students in DIFC!
Do you know?
Medicine (Health Science) Foundation places are very limited in DIFC.
If you're interested, contact us today for more info and brochures!
Book your free consultation today!
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Big thanks to senior Pei Ying for sharing her study abroad journey with us!
Translation & blog management: Emily Lim
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