Welcome to the 9th week of the Virtual Medicine Open Day: giving you an insight into each of the UK medical schools and the opportunity to ask current medical students about the realities of studying there!
This post is written by Lou, a first-year medical student at St George’s University London. (delivered by University of Nicosia).
Lou is studying at St George’s university in Cyprus. This course is exactly the same as the one at St George’s University London in the UK, but is just delivered abroad.
Hi, this is Lou! I’ve just completed my first year of medical school at St George’s University in Cyprus. My experience has been far from what I could ever have imagined, and I am so glad that I chose this course. COVID-19 cut my first year short but keeping reading and find out what this med school is all about…
- An Overview of Teaching Methods
- Typical Timetable of a 1st year Medical Student at St George’s
- The Non-Medical Stuff
- 3 Top Tips For Applying to St George’s
An Overview of How We Are Taught
We are mainly taught using Problem Based Learning (PBL). Lectures accompany our case for the week and we also have clinical skills and communication relevant to the week or the system were covering at the time. Usually we have clinical placements during or after a case and here we have the opportunity to interact with patients on a more clinical and professional level.
What is great about St George’s are the Learning Objective (LOB) sheets you get at the end of the week. During the week, most LOBs will be covered in lectures and PBL but there is a lot of self-directed learning in this course so there’ll be LOBs you’ll need to cover during your own independent study.
To round up the week we have the Expert Forum. This is when the consultants who are in specialities relevant to the case come to answer any questions you may have about what we have learnt that week in a more clinical and practical context.
Spiral learning! This is something you’ll hear all the time. We learn by building upon previous knowledge. It’s likely something that you touched upon during week 1 could come up again in week 13. So pro tip, study it properly the first time- it’ll make life much easier.
A Typical Timetable of a 1st Year Medic
This is what a typical week could look like however the timetable does vary every week. You’ll receive a skeleton timetable at the beginning of each module which will give you an idea of what the next few weeks will look like.
After PBL on Monday, you’ll receive the official timetable for that week.
The Non-Medical Stuff
The campus is based in Nicosia, Cyprus! The weather is what initially attracted me to considering this course! It’s almost always sunny and the weather is typically very warm. I’m so grateful for air conditioning!
There are different societies which you have the opportunity to sign up for at the beginning of the year during a mixer. Some examples would be Curry Club, Mobile Clinic Club and Scalpels Basketball Club- you’ll find out more about them during the mixer! The Student Service Centre will also send emails with details of a variety of extracurricular activities to get involved in, from visiting museums in the city centre to face yoga classes.
The mixer is great because each first year is assigned a mum and dad in the year above. There you’ll get to meet people in both the MBBS and MD course as well as being reassured that you’re not in this alone. It can be daunting moving to another country, but I assure you it’s an experience that you’ll treasure. You’ll meet and study with people from all over the world, just to give you an idea there are people from USA, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Lebanon just to name a few.
23rd October Street has all the fast food needs a student could ever dream of and it’s about a 5-10-minute walk from the medical school. There’s a plethora of coffee shops within Cyprus in general and surrounding the med school too.
It’s Cyprus! We’re no more than 30-40 minutes from the nearest beach. With all that being said, Nicosia is a small and relatively quiet city, however, there’s lots to explore and the coffee shops are the Cypriot equivalent to pubs or cocktail bars (if you’re a Londoner like myself).
The university offers three sites of accommodation, all relatively close to the medical school and all offering varying prices, so most people effectively choose according to what is within their budget. There is also private accommodation (I would recommend looking in Engomi [aka Egkomi] as this is where the medical school is) which again varies in distance from the medical school and price. Once you receive your acceptance letter/email you’ll get all the details on how to navigate this!
Pros of Studying at St George’s
• An easy pro is the location, when moving countries, you need to be open minded about the difference in culture and food. I love the feel of Cyprus it is such an incredibly beautify country with laid back feel to it. This makes what can sometimes be a stressful and intense course that much easier to navigate.
• The course is truly integrated, so you’ll be learning all aspects of medicine during each case. We are taught by consultants with bounds of experience from working all around the world. This allows us to get a really great insight to patient- doctor relationships, what treatment and management of a condition is really like in a clinical setting and overall great advice from those who are in the field
Cons of Studying at St George’s
• The main con of is the tendency for admin to be a little slow sometimes but this isn’t a huge issue.
• We are taught by consultants so medical emergencies do pop up and this can result in them running late to lectures at times, however this can’t be helped.
3 Top Tips For Applying to St George’s
1. Get in touch with the medical school and get well acquainted with your advisor. I was in touch with my advisor a year before even applying and this gave me time to visit the school and find out more information about it.
2. Acquaint yourself with MMI interview style, the admissions are rolling (which means you can apply at any point in the year) so you never know how quickly your interviews may come by
3. For graduate entry therefore work experience is essential as well as a 2:1 in your first degree and a minimum of 57 in GAMSAT. It is very impressive to show what you have done on your own accord not just work experience that may have been integrated into your undergraduate course.
Thank you Lou for providing such an interesting insight into St George’s! You can follow her on Instagram:
Your Turn To Ask Any Questions!
Thank you for submitting your questions, they’ve now been answered by a current student – click below to read the answers!
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