March 12, 2022, by Mei Kee Lee
Study Abroad Experience in the UK Campus: Rachel Yeoh (MPharm)
Being an undergraduate student amidst the unfamiliarity of COVID-19 was definitely a challenge. With the direness of the situation and everyone filled with anxiety and fear from uncertainty, I am beyond grateful for the staff and friends I made through the 2 + 2 Master of Pharmacy programme. For the 19/20 batch, we had 6 months of in-person classes before lockdown, hence I was fortunate to get to know my classmates and have a group of friends to confide in during the many challenges faced throughout preparing for our transfer to the UK. One of the challenges we faced was snatching an appointment with VFS to ensure our VISAs were ready in time for us to complete our self-quarantine and settle in before the semester started. I vividly remember us being on a 5-hour call and some of us even cried from the stress of getting that appointment.
Despite all the challenges, the School of Pharmacy lecturers from both UK and Malaysia campuses did their best trying to aid our transfer and accommodate our needs as transfer students by making changes to the event timeline in order to cater to our arrival. Most of the circumstances were out of our hands so most of the time we had to sit and wait anxiously with every decision having its own set of risks. Once we arrived, the lecturers in the School of Pharmacy UK welcomed us with open arms, our personal tutors were very helpful in answering every query we had.
I am especially thankful for my friends, as we had our fair share of fun and even made new life-long friends along the way. It was comforting to know that I never had to face any of these challenges alone. My friends whom I made back in the Malaysia campus have laughed and cried together each step of the way. We are also fortunate enough to be able to travel around the UK throughout our time here thus far. Safe to say, I definitely could not have done it without them and their support along the way.
Living independently has been a challenging step in my life with my indecisiveness between focusing on the usual academic commitments and building a social life on top of the additional responsibilities and goals such as upkeeping of our home and curating my CV. I also needed time to adapt to being the minority in the country and understanding the new culture. However, with every challenge I face as anyone who is living independently in a foreign country for the first time, I am thankful for being able to journey through this experience as it has developed me to be a more independent person and built confidence in confronting the real world post-graduation.
This article is written by Rachel Yeoh, MPharm 2+2 Year 3 student.