Jamie Patel

Jamie went to the University of New South Wales to study Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery.

“Imagine travelling to the other side of the world and living there. Add the excitement of university life and of experiencing a whole different lifestyle and it becomes a dream come true for many, most definitely for me! For many UK students, finding a place at a good university – especially for courses such as medicine and engineering – can be a frustrating (and, for many, unsuccessful) task. Studying in Australia was the answer to all of my issues.

“Applying was quite simple. First, reading the course lists and university prospectuses provided by Study Options enabled me to identify which institutions taught the type of course I was looking for, and get an idea of the entry requirements. Sarah and Alexis helped me narrow down the choices. I was looking for an institution with quality facilities and academics, in a location that offered plenty to do! This narrowed things down in my case to one university, the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

“It was perfect. The chance to live in Sydney, which offers an amazing quality of life, combined with studying medicine at one of the top universities in Australia (and in the world). Filling in the application form was as simple, if not simpler, than filling in the UCAS form for British universities and with the help of Study Options I was able to submit my application within a few weeks. A few months and a phone interview later, and I had my place to study medicine at the University of New South Wales!

“Sydney is a fantastic place to live. Like London, there is so much to do, with easy public transport access to wherever you need to go, but it’s cheaper to get around. Unlike London though, there are beaches with public barbecues just down the road; a perfect place to relax after a hard day’s work! Coastal walks are beautiful; a nice way to spend the evening, especially going from Coogee to Bondi. There are lots of themed pubs, bars and clubs with special student nights making things all the more fun and a great way to meet new people. The Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney, show Australia’s breathtaking beauty and are a great day trip. If you’re into art, be sure to check out the Vivid Festival of Sydney in June, it lights up the city centre at night. Sydney is also home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, both well worth a visit.

“Medicine at UNSW is taught over six years and divided into three phases of two years each. The course is taught through a mix of lectures, tutorials and scenario groups, around clinical cases. This gives you the experience of taking a clinical case at hospital. It is a fun way to learn as you discuss the case in scenario groups and learn the associated material, piecing information together to reach a diagnosis. Individual assignments and group projects in each teaching period allow you to research further into areas of medicine that are not taught during the course but those that you may come across when working as a medical practitioner. The course is fairly intensive with daily lectures starting at 9am and scenario group sessions twice a week. Hospital placements start early and are real eye-openers – as a first year I was recently palpating the abdomen of a mother who had given birth three hours before and examining the baby.

“Everything is very student friendly and there is a dedicated Student Development International centre among other centres offering advice and information about the university, accommodation and any other issues you may have. I would definitely recommend living in college (halls of residence) at UNSW as the orientation activities made making friends a piece of cake! Everyone seemed to be so accommodating to international students, which made the transition all the easier – not to mention how much the Australians love British accents! I find that being in a fully catered hall helps me to efficiently manage my time and work commitments.

“I find playing football on the Village Green, which is outside my college’s front door, a great way of de-stressing after a hard week’s work. College sport is quite heated and a sense of pride in your college is quickly developed! I play musical instruments in order to relax, and music rooms with a piano are also available to use. I benefit from these tremendously.

“During university, there are plenty of places to eat, study and relax during the day with areas of greenery and beautifully cut lawns available to have a lie down. A post office, stationary shop, bookstore and computer centre in addition to ten floors of library space are available on campus to ensure everything is within walking distance.

“Living in College has opened up experiences that I would have never found looking in a travel guide, including a scavenger hunt around the city, getting to know it inside-out, a College ball in Darling Harbour (a touch of class to a night out!) and a trip to see Macbeth at the Sydney Opera House.

Jamie tells us how Study Options helped convince his parents to let him go!...

“Study Options is a great service and way of gaining access to Australian universities and life down under. Sarah and the team were excellent, giving me all the information I needed to know to submit my application as well as lots of advice on settling in Sydney. I am very grateful for the hours spent constructing my application and going through the various institutions to narrow my choices down. They were also more than reassuring to my parents, who fired multiple questions at them, giving them the confidence to let me go!

“Studying here in Australia is an opportunity that would be very hard to pass up! All I can say is, good luck!”