Being alone in a foreign country more than 10 ,000 km away from home can be daunting and challenging . However , for me , I found that the challenge was also what made it an exciting and rewarding journey. I first began my application to the 4 Irish Medial Universities-UCD,TCD,NUIG and UCC in January 2022. Applying through IUMC was a relatively easy process and I also felt well- supported from the beginning till the end. Throughout the application process, Ms Samantha and Mr Seamus would frequently provide us with updates and guide us on how to go about interviews and getting our documents ready.

UCD Testimonial_Sumitra Cheong

Personally, UCD seems to be the perfect fit for me. Among the many reasons that I initially chose UCD were the Summer Student Research Awards, the James B. Coakley medal for dissection and the wide range of networks that UCD has with other universities across the globe. Coming from a background of Cambridge A Levels, I would say the workload for the first year is rather manageable.

However, not to sugarcoat it as well, it does require a set amount of time put into studying in order to achieve the desired grades but it is not impossible. I have truly enjoyed and learned to appreciate the hands-on experiences that are offered to us even as first-year medical students. From the hours spent in the dissection room to the sessions where we interact with patients, the experience has been one for the books. Besides that, outside the classroom, there are also plenty of medical societies that organise various events such as Med Day, Teddy Bear Hospital and even a Surgical Conference. Such activities are great opportunities to get to know the upper years and at the same time develop and cultivate a skill or two that would be useful in the future.

In general, life on campus is rather happening. There are usually multiple activities that are being held on campus every week if not almost every day. UCD being such a large campus has many societies that would organise coffee mornings or even sports activities to encourage bonding between the members. This tends to serve as a good opportunity to get to know other students from different courses and backgrounds. From the 3 separate gyms that UCD has to offer to the multiple different woodland routes available on campus, this makes it easily possible to take a break between studies and enjoy the best of nature.

Having been in Ireland for close to about a year now, I am in awe of the landscapes and also enjoy the weather and culture here. From what I have experienced, the Irish are super friendly and would wave to you and even initiate a short conversation with you. There are plenty of scenic hikes and sights that Ireland has to offer. For example, there is St Stephens Park and Phoenix Park in Dublin itself.

Being able to study medicine at UCD has truly been such a great experience. I am deeply grateful to the teachers, educators, friends and parents who have continuously provided me with their unwavering support. Last but not least, to those who are in the process of applying, I wish you all the best. Know that while the journey is filled with lots of bumps along the road, with hard work and perseverance it is still possible to achieve the goal.