Impact & Opinions | Tionchar & Tuairimí

Student Stories: Diversity Brings a Sense of Home

Student Stories: Diversity Brings a Sense of Home

29 July 21
 | 6 MINS

A student from United Arab Emirates joins the conversation on internationalisation with a personal insight into the value of diversity.

My time at the School of Medicine, NUI Galway, was a journey filled with great learning opportunities both on a personal and academic level.

When I first arrived to Ireland in 2016, I was astonished by its green landscapes and heart-warming people – people who are now life-long friends and working colleagues.

Having had grown up in the multicultural society of the United Arab Emirates, I managed to adapt very well with the ethnic diversity on campus and in Galway. Being surrounded by such diversity provided myself with an insight into various cultures, enriching my understanding of the world.

In addition to the tremendous cultural diversity that I was exposed to, the medical training I received was world class and prepared me well for the next journey in life.

During the pre-clinical years (year one and two), we had continuous support from the academic staff, hands-on tutorials and labs, and, most importantly, early patient contact.

Through that, I had plenty of opportunity to build my CV, engage in societies and clubs to boost my interpersonal skills and seek support from academic and administrative staff when needed.

Then came the transitioning ceremony marking a turning point in my life – the start of clinical training beginning in Mayo Medical Academy in Castlebar. The academy experience was enriching and eye-opening. It was then when my desire to pursue a career in Medicine was affirmed. Small student to tutor ratio, supporting academic and clinical staff, and an opportunity to innovate are great aspects of being in the academy.

Speaking of innovation, the Mayo Medics online platform was co-created by myself and my colleagues, with the support of the academic staff at the academy, to provide an experiential learning environment for medical students.

This teamwork and leadership opened the door to several other opportunities, all of which shaped me as the person I am today.

After a wonderful year in Mayo, I moved back to Galway in early 2020 to complete my clinical training, but little did I know what was to happen next. A pandemic. Chaos and anticipatory anxiety loomed over.

Despite an ambiguous future on the horizon, the academic staff showed resilience and determination to ensure that we resumed our education in novel and innovative ways including healthcare simulation.

The leadership exhibited by the academic staff inspired me to run for the role of class representative during my final year in medical school.

I had the opportunity to lead, to develop a closer connection with my class and to work with the academic and administrative staff to implement changes in the best interest of the students.

It was a fulfilling experience that allowed me to flourish on a personal level.

As my five years at the School of Medicine come to an end, I am thankful for all the great people I worked with along the way and the lifelong memories I made. If I were to repeat my medical training, I would definitely choose NUI Galway all over again.


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