Visiting a foreign country for leisure and recreation is one thing and going to a foreign country for education is altogether a different thing. You have to be aware of all the nitty-gritty of the place you are going to call your home for the next few years of your life. It’s not only the university that you need to focus on, but also the city you are going to stay in.
Securing admission in a medical university is a dream for many aspiring students in the world. The medical profession, in addition to being probably the toughest in some countries, is also the one that garners the most respect and value in any society. Foreign university education can be a daunting prospect for some but it is something that can give you a far greater insight into your profession than education in your own country. It is especially true for medical education as it provides knowledge and experience in a way that is different from your home country. This foreign education experience can be put to a great use in your home country as progress and innovation comes with combination of old ways with new ones.
Getting admission in a foreign medical university is only the tip of the iceberg as getting the best value out of your time, effort and money takes center-stage soon enough. Let’s take a look at some ways in which you can excel as a medical student while studying abroad.
First things first, you should learn the language of the country you are targeting for your education. By learning the language, you remove the first obstacle in adjusting with your surroundings. When you know what people around you are talking about, you do not feel aloof and can focus your full energies on the most important task i.e. education. In case you are moving to Egypsst for your medical degree, do invest your time and energy in learning Arabic even though the medium of instruction in the university will be English.
Familiarise yourself with the country
Do a thorough research on the country you have chosen for your medical study. It includes the information on the medical practices, medical laws and the medical education of that country. When you get into something without a fair idea, you can falter many times and it only creates hurdles in your way. Meet the local people, ask them about their lives, the level of satisfaction with health services, etc. In short, become friends with the locals. When you feel part of the community, it will help you get the most out of your foreign education, as you’ll approach your studies in light of the insight of the local community.
Time is of great essence. This applies everywhere and anywhere. It often happens that foreign students start ignoring their studies in their desire to get to know the country better. In some instances, those who are having an education abroad are also doing odd jobs to make ends meet and as a result their studies suffer. Thus, time management is of great importance when it comes to your education. Divide your time wisely between studies, work and leisure. All are essential and none should be ignored in the favor of another. However, do not forget that your primary purpose in a foreign country is to get your medical education, therefore, dedicate due time and effort for this purpose. Time for other activities can be then managed accordingly.
Set out your priorities from the moment you settle. Be organised in your routine and in your living and study space. Organizing your physical space can help in better mental organization as well. Have your study materials in your study area and your computer well organised to help you focus better. Moreover, organise your study schedules so you never fall behind. Minimise the distractions of a foreign country by being well organised.
Learning in a classroom is essential and so is independent learning. You must prioritise seeking out other sources to enhance your knowledge. It could be medical journals, books, videos, blogs, online courses; anything that can help you in augmenting the knowledge and information you are getting in your university classroom. Samson PLAB Academy breaks down the various ways to help your cause of getting medical education. There are various quizzes online that can even help you with assessment of your learning. You can also compare the learning methodology in your native country with your current mode of education. This can help you think of ways to implement new learning methods in either place. Independent learning and search contribute massively to your professional growth.
Proficiency in English
If you wish to stay ahead in your field and stay abreast of the latest developments in medical and health sciences, it is essential for you to be proficient in the English language. Most of the renowned medical journals publish latest research in English; most of the medical literature is in English. Therefore, from no matter which country (whether it is English speaking or not) you are getting your medical education from, in order for you to excel you must master the English language. You can either enroll in an English learning course online or alternatively, you can take classes to be proficient in English before you move to the foreign country for your medical education.
Volunteer in Primary Healthcare
Volunteering at a primary healthcare center or shadowing a physician with express permission in their daily work routine is the best way to get the most out of your foreign education experience. It will be tough to manage time with lectures and study routine for a volunteer but if you can make time for it during your study break, it can help you get ahead of your peers back home or even in your university. Practical experience is nothing like knowledge from a book. This will expose you to first-hand knowledge as you would be observing medical practice in a foreign country after your degree completion, so try not to miss out on such a learning experience. Prioritise volunteering during the course of your medical education abroad.
Medical education in the developed world can be tough for those who are coming from developing nations. However, if you focus on the tips mentioned above, align your priorities and have a strong work ethic, you will adjust to the new surroundings and new modes of learning in no time.