My name is Navin! I am from a faraway land right in the heart of South East Asia – Singapore. Singapore is a fine country with good Schools, Universities and great quality of life. As such, it was not an easy choice for me to choose Dundee as my tertiary institution. For one, the temperature in Dundee is too cold! The hottest summer day in Dundee is about 28 degrees, that’s the lowest Singapore will ever be on any given day! Secondly, it is just so far away from anything familiar to me; the culture, the people and the food will all be new and will take some time to get accustomed to it. Thirdly, I will miss my family so much; I grew up a sheltered life, always having my parents taking care of all major decisions which allowed me to live a carefree life. All that is about to change!
I am very sure I am not alone in this. Many of my course mates would have had to move away from their family and friends to pursue their lifelong plans and dreams too. And it’s never wise to start on any adventure before reading up on it or getting to know about it. But the problem is: there is never enough information! I hope this series of blog posts can help you with that! Though my perspective will be that of an international student, I am sure there will many takeaways for all too!
First up, Why Dundee??
Easy question! Dundee is one of the best Medical and Life Sciences School in the world! Not forgetting their Student Satisfaction percent is off the charts, leading all other major schools in Scotland. And, isn’t that what really matters? I am a strong believer in having a good support system more than making sure if school’s ranking or research is good. With good staff, student and peer support, any student can do well in his chosen course of study! Also, trust me in this, they are not joking when you hear people say Dundee staff and people are nice and polite. They really are! That was one of many positive culture shocks I got even before being in Dundee. Also, my fellow international students out there, the respective country’s student society will take care of any issue you have!
So, How was the journey?
For me, it was a tough one. Not because the Visa process and School matriculation were tough, but because the time difference and distance between the two places made it very difficult to process the necessary paperwork. I would always miss my deadline (but they were very understanding of my situation).
My journey to Dundee started way back in Oct 2014, when I first applied to various UK schools to do my medicine course overseas. I got back from Dundee and three other Universities, and thus began the month of interviews, almost every weekend of the month I was flying to Malaysia for my interview (dreaded each one of them). Finally, of all the offers I got, I chose Dundee, which was what I wanted all along. Then I took a gap year before I officially started working on all paperwork necessary to study in Dundee. The rest is history!
The hardest part: Definitely the waiting time between each application for the paperwork. International Students, get ready to wait, wait and wait for a long long time!
The easiest part: Nothing! Never expect this paperwork process to be easy. Because it is not! It is not fun also, but very very important to be meticulous in whatever you do. Details, Details, details!
Was it worth it?
Well, you can never be sure if the choice you made was right? No one can answer that too! What you can hope is that all will be well!
So, what’s next?
Well, after a tediously long period of applications and boring paperwork, some real fun! Since I was from Singapore, I was able to be part of the SingSoc Dundee fresher’s camp. It was damn fun! I had the chance to meet my fellow year mates, seniors, alumni and many other Singaporeans studying in the Scotland area. I will spare you the details of what went down, but boy…was it fun!
After all was ready, the only thing left was for me to fly over to Dundee and embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Follow me and be part of my Dundee experience! We are in for a hell of a ride; trust me, how hard can it be?