Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia

News items

A Life-Changing Experience: Studying Abroad in Newcastle University

Since its establishment in Malaysia a decade ago, Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia has produced a number of successful medical graduates. NUMed is known for its excellence in medical education and a global alumni network. It offers two undergraduate programmes: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and BSc (Hons.) Biomedical Sciences. Under the curriculum, MBBS and Biomedical Science students have the opportunity to study in the UK.  

Studying abroad is perhaps one of the most beneficial experiences a student can have. Studying abroad allows students to experience day-to-day life in foreign countries and gain a different perspective on other cultures. NUMed MBBS alumnus, Tan Zhi Jing could attest to that. 

Before stepping foot in Newcastle University, Zhi Jing had some expectations about her studies in a foreign country. She expected that her studies there would be less hands-on because there would be a lesser number of patients in the hospital. Fortunately, this was proven to be untrue as there were many practical learning opportunities throughout the duration of her studies, ones she had only learnt from books previously. The doctors were very patient and keen on teaching and supervising the students during procedures.  

Zhi Jing shared that the kind souls she met during her time learning in James Cook University Hospital made her experience even more fulfilling. The doctors and nurses there were very encouraging and inviting, which allowed students to have plenty of pragmatic practices in their learning process. She mentioned that their generosity and teaching made her realise that humility is key, no matter how great one is in their field. Her observation on how British students interact with their seniors also inspired her to be more confident and brave in expressing herself.  

Currently a houseman at Hospital Sultan Aminah Johor Bahru (HSAJB), Zhi Jing mentioned that studying abroad gave her a different perspective on medical education. “Medical education is not merely a series of lectures and seminars; it could also be fun!” Zhi Jing quips. One of the things that made her studies in Newcastle University so special was the dissecting room, where she had the invaluable opportunity of learning how to insert an interosseous needle on a cadaver. Other than that, Zhi Jing adds that Newcastle University values their students’ views. There was always a two-way communication between the students and doctors, as the students were encouraged to get involved in discussions. 

Zhi Jing mentioned that one of the biggest challenges during her time abroad in Newcastle University was the language barrier. Even though the people spoke English, their accents made it difficult for her to understand. However, she did not let that hinder her learning process as she slowly got used to their accents and even adopted it so her patients could understand her better. 

When questioned on how she coped with being homesick while being far from home, Zhi Jing said that she wasn’t particularly homesick because it had always been her dream to study in the UK. She was aware that the duration of her studies abroad is short, so instead of feeling homesick, she appreciated every single moment being there. She said that this experience made her more independent and confident, as she had to do everything on her own.  

NUMed’s study abroad programme stands out from other medical schools because NUMed students are not required to pay an elective fee, whereas private applicants have to pay hundreds to thousands for application fees. NUMed also helps students arrange their placements, VISA documentations and accommodation for the convenience of the students.  

Zhi Jing advises future NUMed students who are planning to study abroad to be ready for any unexpected challenges and not to be shy to ask for help. She also added that students should always appreciate their time there and make new friends, as these moments are precious.  

Lastly, Zhi Jing encouraged high school leavers who aspire to be medical professionals to pursue medicine. “I wholeheartedly recommend NUMed but only do it if you want to pursue medicine, not because of the influence from your family,” Zhi Jing asserted. She added that she thoroughly enjoyed her life-changing experience studying abroad and is convinced that it will change the lives of aspiring students as well. 

For more details and enquiries, you may email admissions@newcastle.edu.my, call 07-555 3800, WhatsApp 011-1231 5411 or 012-7849456, or visit the NUMed website at www.ncl.ac.uk/numed 

published on: 22 September 2020