- Name: Nahosi
- Course: Biomedical Sciences BSc Honours
- Where I'm from: Zambia
I knew about Newcastle University because a friend who I had been with on an International Foundation Programme chose to start her degree here. So I read a bit more about the University and spoke to her about how she likes the place.
Knowing that I would have someone I know in Newcastle was definitely encouraging for me but I was also drawn to this University given the excellent student satisfaction in previous years and its high ranking regarding subjects allied to medicine.
Studying at Newcastle
I particularly enjoy the variety available in my course. At the end of our first year, we were given the opportunity to specialise in various courses within biomedicine such as physiology, genetics or even biochemistry. I chose to remain in general biomedicine and have enjoyed the immense variety regarding the modules we learn.
My favourite module has been ‘The biology of human ageing’. We all know that someday we’ll become old and frail but this module has actually taught me what exactly is happening in the human body that causes us to age, scientifically speaking.
Recommending Biomedical Sciences
I'd definitely advise pursuing a degree in biomedicine – not only if you're interested in scientific research and understanding the pathology of diseases but also if you're considering a career in healthcare. Obtaining a degree in biomedicine could be instrumental in showing you whether your passions lie in research, contributing to field knowledge about particular diseases for instance, or perhaps in going further to pursue a medical degree.
Living in Newcastle
Newcastle is a very lively city, there are always various activities going like fairs or food markets. The fact that there’s always so much going on makes it easier to get involved and go out to enjoy some of these activities. Most places are easily accessible, either by walking, taking the metro, or even the bus. Most University buildings are very near to the city centre and within walking distance of each other, so getting around isn’t too much of a hassle.
You can join numerous societies through the Students’ Union. I remember how surprised I was when I arrived in first year and found so much variety regarding the societies I could join. There’s so much you could get involved in, from moto-cross to dance, or even the medical ethics society.
I’m a member of the Afro-Caribbean society, which organises social events to showcase various aspects of Afro-Caribbean culture such as movie nights (to showcase African films) or fashion shows (as a chance to model African attire). I'm also involved in the a capella society which arranges and rehearses musical pieces to perform at various events, such as balls held by other societies or talent shows organised by the Students’ Union.
I’m living in University student halls not too far from the Medical School where I have all my classes. It was quite easy to sort out the accommodation because four other friends and I had decided we wanted to have a flat together so we applied online for a five person flat in the student hall.
The key thing is to apply early for accommodation because then you’re more likely to get what you want and getting it sorted means it’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Managing my money
Being an international student, my dad often sends me my upkeep money via international bank transfer, which means it takes a couple of days for the money to actually show in my account. So it’s important for me to ensure that I always have enough money to keep me afloat while my upkeep money is ‘en route’ so to speak.
My advice on handling your money as a student would be to make sure you actually have a budget in mind that you want to stick to (like how many pounds a week you allow yourself to spend on groceries for instance), this will make you more aware of it whenever you over shop or buy things you don’t really need. It will also save you the embarrassment of not being able to go out and do things with your friends because you’ve got no money left.
After I graduate, I hope to study medicine and work as a doctor in Accident and Emergency. Newcastle University has definitely helped me in terms of providing lectures on how to successfully apply for postgraduate medicine. There have also been numerous workshops which gives current students the opportunity to meet with former biomedical science students who are now studying medicine. These have been instrumental in shaping my perspective regarding the choice to pursue further study in medicine.