Monday, 31 October 2016

Meet My Classmates


I have wonderful people in my class. Today, I'd love to introduce some of them to you.


This is Manuel. He is a very jovial and lively person and always has something to contribute in class. He is currently running for Medical and health sciences rep for the post graduate sounding board.

Hi, I’m Jose Manuel Besares Lopez, and I'm an international student from Mexico. I'm studying MPH Public Health (International Health). Back in Mexico, I got a Bachelor Sc. degree in Genome Biotechnology and I really enjoyed getting engaged in looking for answers to social issues through the application of biological sciences. I consider myself  a young and enthusiastic person, committed to the wellbeing of my community and I love to use the power of my voice to create changes in my environment through a constructive, inspiring, and transformational leadership. This year I received the Chevening Award, the UK Government Scholarship that provides me the opportunity of meeting Radiant and my other fabulous colleagues at the MPH!


This is Savina. Always smiling. She hardly raises her hand in class to make a contribution, but when we are in groups, she has very relevant knowledge or experience to share. I always thought she was a shy person, but I got to know another side of her last Thursday when she made a 30min presentation about Cambodian health care system in front of the whole class.

My name is Chham Savina. I come from Cambodia, a country in south-east Asia. Currently, I am doing a Master of Public Health at the University of Nottingham.
Having a bachelor of pharmacy and working experience based in the health field, I discovered that I have a great passion in public health. That's why I decided to pursue my postgraduate course in public health. This course is very rich in providing theoretical skills and knowledge required for public health practice which I am sure that after I graduate I will be highly valued by a wide range of employers. Also, I chose to do an MPH because I would like to advance my core skills in public health which surely helps to open up a world of possibility for Cambodia health care system. I am kind of self-spoiling, so I always give myself a good treat after long tired day. whether it is a good movie or stuff, it brings fun to me.


Finally, for today. Meet Shamiya. You guys have met her in my previous post. She is someone I can laugh with anytime. She loves to have fun. So she travels to London almost every weekend. 

I am Shamiya Nazir, Bangladeshi by origin, 26years old. I passed from school of medicine this year and have decided to pursue a career in public health because I am more interested in knowing why some one is diseased and the other one is healthy rather than working as a physician who deals with individuals. Hopefully, I want to be a successful epidemiologist later in life. For fun, I love to watch movies and try new restaurants. 



I hope you enjoyed getting to know Manuel, Savina and Shamiya. I'll stop here for now. That's Cheryl from USA in the background. Hopefully, you'll meet her in the next Meet My Classmates. 

©Radiant ~October 2016

Sunday, 9 October 2016

International Student: First Lecture Week

             

I had my first week of lectures last week from Monday to Friday. (Henceforth, it will be only 3 days per week). A variety of teaching methods were employed including lecture slides, short videos, group exercises, class interactions and an excursion. I had thought that I would find it difficult to grasp the British accent on the first week, but for one or two lecturers, their speeches were lucid enough. On introducing ourselves the first day, it was interesting to discover that we came from diverse countries and backgrounds viz Ghana, UK, Mexico, USA, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, e.t.c. I was the only one from Nigeria until Friday. We are 2 now.

Me and some of my classmates

I want fresh air

The prevalence of smoking in Nottingham is alarming. More so, it is ironical that smokers happen to be concentrated in front of a hospital: The Queens Medical Center. On a second thought, maybe it is so due to the fact that smokers are more likely to come down with illnesses for which they have to visit the hospital. The annoying part is that I get to sniff my own portion of tobacco every morning at the bus station. Yuck!



Visit to Thackray Medical Museum

On Thursday, we had an excursion to the Thackray medical museum in Leeds. During our 2 hour drive from Nottingham, I sat beside Shamiya from Bangladesh and we talked throughout the journey. I noticed a transient change in my accent at the end of our conversation. Lol




We were made to see and experience the history of medicine in the UK, the ancient practices and how scientific discoveries led to what we practice now. We passed through the Victoria street, London where houses where built back to back, environmental sanitation was zero and I don't know how, but the museum was able to replicate the stench. We were asked to pick characters and find out where our characters lived and what happened to them. My character was a Mary Holmes, shown in the picture below. She had contracted tuberculosis and was bedfast. The only person with courage to care for her was the priest, who our tour guide thought must have been a Roman Catholic priest. Mary died of tuberculosis at the age of 29.


    More pictures of the Victoria street

A butcher doing his job

A typical bedroom in 1842

                       Shared latrine

                                 

The above shows a 10yr old girl who worked in a mill on Victoria street. Her job was to crawl under the revolving machines and sweep out what fell from them. While doing this oneday, she was trapped beneath it and the machine shattered her leg and so she had to have her leg amputated. She survived the surgery without anaesthesia (pain control) but died in a few days due to infection. As you can see, surgeons wore their regular work suits in the theatre and no gloves. This was before the germ theory (that diseases are caused by microorganisms) by Loius Pasture. Different types of anaesthetics have been discovered over the years. Surgeries are now performed under anaesthesia and in aseptic (free of disease-causing microbes) conditions.



It was insightful to know that UK has gone through the same problems many developing and underdeveloped countries are passing through currently, even when there were no solutions in other parts of the world and yet they overcame. It makes me believe even more strongly that there is hope for Africa.

©Radiant ~ October 2016

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Sunday, 2 October 2016

International Student: Settling In Nottingham


By now, you guys know I'm in the UK for a Masters programme at the University of Nottingham. For my previous post on my journey to UoN click here.

Arriving at Nottingham
First thing I noticed on arrival at Nottingham was the culture of hospitality. Everyone I asked for direction went out of their way to guide me. One saw me at the top of a staircase oneday and rushed up the stairs to help me carry my small box down the stairs. Another didn't know the way to where I had asked her but instead of dismissing me, she asked for my map and helped me to interpret it. How nice! It's a gross contrariety compared to what I experienced when I arrived Lagos in 2014. Everyone was so impatient. I wouldn't have finished saying "excuse me" before they walked out on me. They were all on their guard, reacting as if I were a beggar or a swindler. Lagosians were so hostile especially the bus conductors. In contrast, the customer service here is topnotch. 

Next thing that stood out was the efficiency of their transportation system. I don't find it difficult to cross the roads no matter how busy they are because there is always a pedestrian path on the road and once I hit the button and the traffic light turns green for me, I can walk majestically across the road knowing that all cars will be on halt till I've crossed. At the bus stops are the schedules for various buses. They are so efficient that if a bus is slated to arrive at 9:07pm, at 9:06 you may not see any sign of a bus, but as soon as it's 9:07, here comes your bus, right in front of you. The distances have been calculated to the second. It's amazing.

Welcome Programme
Freshers were given 2 days free accommodation in school during which they were expected to complete their registration, do other essentials like open a bank account, register with the National Health Service, and pack into their term time accommodation. That was really considerate of UoN and it saved so many students lots of money that would have been spent on hotel fees. The package included free breakfast and dinner for those 2 days. I located a Nigerian food stand called Item 7 where I had my meals. I wasn't yet ready to explore.


I got lots of stationery, flyers, and drinks from several student groups advertising at the welcome programme.


Settling In
I packed into my term time accommodation as soon as I vacated the free accommodation. I share a 4 bedroom apartment with 2 Nigerians and 1 Kenyan, all PHD students. My landlord is a very nice man.



Acclimating
I stepped out on Friday morning to go to school without my jacket because it's colour didn't match the dress I was putting on. I didn't need anybody to tell me to run back into the house to get my jacket and forget fashion when I saw myself freezing. It was 9°C then. 

Induction
We had our induction into Post Graduate School of Medicine on Friday. After the lectures hammering on what plagiarism is and is not, we were told there was free lunch. I walked enthusiastically to the cafeteria only for me to find this.


Can you imagine? This is the definition of lunch here. Thank God I came prepared to cook. And why is the bottle water here carbonated? It tastes really horrible.


Yesterday
Happy Independence Day Nigeria! I spent most of my day watching The Platform via live stream at channelstv.com and 
theplatformnigeria.com. If you missed it, please go back and watch it. It was phenomenal. To conclude my day, these 3 gentlemen came to visit me. 


From Left to Right- Timothy (Alhaji 4 Jesus), Dr. Ndubuisi Egwim, Dr. Sunday Ugwuoke

Today
I had a swell time at The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Rehoboth House, Beeston. It was a welcome service for the international students. We had academic, finance and career talks by current and past students, sermon by Pastor Sam inspiring us to aim for the best because there is a Spirit of intelligence in us (Job 32: 8 AMP) and then a proper Nigerian lunch to round it off. Lectures begin tomorrow. God help me!



Have you read my journey to UoN? If not, click hereRemember to leave your comments. More Nottingham tales to come. Ciao

 
©Radiant~ October 2016

If you are having difficulties leaving comments, please click the following link: http://radiant.ng/home/blog/international-student-settling-in-nottingham

Radiant's Blog Is Back Here

Hi guys. Radiant's Blog is back here. I needed some time to fix some technical issues. However, my official website still remains www.radiant.ng where you can find my songs, social media links, and other info. Blog posts will be on both sites. So really nothing's changed. See you.

Radiant