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Virginie Ananthakkarasu

BSc in Biomedical Sciences, graduated July 2019, Upper Second Class Honours Degree.

Teaching Assistant/MSc in Public Health

I am currently on a gap year working as a teaching assistant in schools and in a youth centre in France. I graduated with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences in 2019. Next year, I will pursue a masters in Public Health. I developed an interest in the Public Health domain while I was a student at Newcastle University.

Studying at Newcastle University was a turning point in my student life. Being an EU student, coming to Newcastle upon Tyne was challenging but it was exciting due to the difference in language and culture. The University staff and senior students truly supported and guided me throughout my degree.


Fresher’s week and my graduation were without a doubt the highlights of my time at Newcastle University. These two events made me realise that my university years had been valuable and filled with many diverse and maturing experiences, which are undoubtedly useful in my personal and professional life.

I carried out extra-curricular activities such as signing up to the University-Wide Language Programme and learning German. I was also part of the Acapella Society and the secretary of French Society which aimed to gather Francophones and French culture lovers at cultural gatherings.

Besides, I regularly took part in university Open Days where I represented my course and shared my experience with future students, this reassured parents that Newcastle was the right university for their children.

More science-related, I had the opportunity to do a summer placement in a microbiology lab of the Biosciences Institute which focuses its studies on E.coli bacteria. My final year project focused on well-known public health issues related to energy drink consumption among students. It was then I decided to take the career path of Public Health.

I really enjoyed the biomedical course because I gained knowledge on almost every aspect of biological science such as microbiology, immunology, anatomy, but also statistics and epidemiology. This enabled me to work out my interests and narrow it down to Public Health.

My time at uni consisted of going to lectures and seminars but also lab practice and computer sessions, there were many ways to learn. I left Newcastle University having gained lots of experience which I believe is essential when it comes to facing new opportunities.

I will never forget Newcastle upon Tyne, a lovely and dynamic city with a strong cultural and historical presence. Essential shops are in walking distance so there is no need to buy a metro pass. In each corner, there are pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops. The icing on the cake is for sure the seaside which is 20 minutes away by metro. Everything made balancing study life and social life possible.

I hope to pursue a PhD in a Public Health related course and aim for a career as an academic, just like the lecturers at Biomedical School who are a true inspiration for young students.