Sumitra Cheong

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.

Mae Shan

Hi, my name is Mae Shan and I’m a 4th year medical student at University College Dublin.

Being here in Ireland for a good 4 years has been wonderful and an eye-opener. The first year was difficult as adjusting to a new environment and being away from home was hard, but it is still exciting to return back to Ireland every new school term.

The decision I made to come to Ireland was to allow me to have different connections with people all over the world and learn more about different cultures. A lot of people will ask why Ireland and not UK, I think it is about preference. I can say that Dublin is more to a manageable city compare to London or other cities in UK. Nonetheless, Dublin city is lively with live music and entertainment. There are nice parks for picnics if the weather permits and lovely trails for hike to enjoy beautiful nature experiences.

The course structure of Medicine in UCD is well organised. Every semester we would have 5 core modules and one elective of our choice which ranges from a variety of other subjects from
business, science to innovation. The diverse choice allows me to learn of disciplines outside of the boundary of medicine related subjects and provide a refreshing break from the hefty main modules.

IUMC office helped me in my transition during my first year by connecting me to seniors and checking my wellbeing from time to time. As a senior now, I am able to share my experience with new students on board to their first year of university life in UCD.

Jovian Gooi Zi Chieh

Studying medicine at University College Dublin has given me the invaluable opportunity to gain a global perspective and broaden my horizons. 

One of the key strengths of UCD’s medical program is the emphasis on practical learning. Throughout each course, there is a strong emphasis on hands-on experiences, including dissection labs that have been invaluable in visualizing anatomical regions. In Malaysia, access to dissection labs is limited, and I truly appreciate the chance to engage in such practical learning at UCD. Additionally, the tutorial sessions in smaller groups have been immensely beneficial, allowing for discussions and better understanding of clinical equipment used in real-world medical settings. UCD’s commitment to equipping medical students with basic life-saving skills early on in our first semester has also been invaluable, providing us with essential skills that will be crucial in our future medical practice.

Another unique aspect of studying medicine at UCD is the Summer Student Research Awards (SSRA) program. This program has provided me with the chance to engage in research projects during the summer months, without having to worry about the expense of traveling back to my home country. This allows students to gain valuable research experience and develop important skills in critical thinking, data analysis, and academic writing, which will undoubtedly benefit our future career in medicine, especially if we are interested in specializing abroad where research is often a crucial criterion for boosting one’s resume.

Furthermore, the diversity of the student community at UCD has been truly enriching. As a Malaysian student, I was delighted to find a significant number of Malaysians at UCD, which helped me feel included and welcomed right from the start. The multicultural environment at UCD has not only fostered a sense of belonging but has also enriched my understanding of different cultures and perspectives, contributing to my personal growth as a future healthcare professional.

Lastly, I am immensely grateful for the assistance I received from the Irish Universities & Medical Schools Consortium (IUMC) during the application process. Medical school applications around the world are highly competitive, and the deadlines for accepting offers can be challenging to manage. However, Mr Seamus was able to help me obtain an interview with UCD and receive an unconditional offer, which allowed me to make a firm decision and decline my offers in Australia. The guidance and resources provided by IUMC were instrumental in ensuring that my application was comprehensive and competitive, and the interview opportunity provided me with the confidence to choose UCD as my preferred institution.

Fara Izyana Meor Faiza

I decided on coming to Ireland after IUMC first made a visit to my school where I was doing A-levels. I was already applying to a few medical schools at the time, but decided to broaden my options by applying to Ireland as well – and looking back, I’m very grateful that I did!

The best part about studying Medicine in UCD is being presented with so many opportunities alongside my studies. From summer school programs, to research involvement, to student societies and clubs, I’ve had a taste of them all during my pre-clinical years. Now that I’ve started my clinical rotations, I realise that the curriculum was structured in a way that ensured I had a grasp of ALL the theory before being placed in a clinical context. 

Ireland itself as a country is also beautiful, and its people so welcoming. I sometimes find myself slipping in ‘grand’ and ‘craic’ when I speak, and have somehow become fond of Irish humour. What’s nice is that IUMC also links us with other Malaysian students in Ireland, so there’s always a home away from home to seek familiarity in.

May Suen

I chose UCD mainly for its campus life and also because UCD is known for its research work and the student summer research programme. The programme has been the most interesting aspect of my time here. Research prompts me to think, and it is an avenue where I can finally apply what I have studied so far in medical school. 

Abdul Raziq Hider

I am starting my final year of Medicine in UCD and I could not be happier with my experience in this prestigious university so far. UCD has the best facilities in Ireland for both academic and sports activities. The time during pre-clinical years was amazing and has provided me the opportunity to learn in a very conducive environment for education as well as able to make a lot of friends from numerous backgrounds. Apart from that, the times in the hospitals for my clinical placements have been outstanding with a more comprehensive approach to medicine and multiple ways to gain and improve my clinical skills which will help me to work as a doctor in the very near future.”

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