We asked second year MPharm Pharmacy international student, Joanna Ayuba some questions about her experiences studying at the University of Birmingham.
Why did you apply to study Pharmacy at the University of Birmingham?
Studying in a Russell group of university appealed to me because it gave me the assurance that the lessons I would be learning and the coursework I would be studying at the university would be of a very high standard, which is what should be expected of future healthcare professionals.
What has your overall experience as an University of Birmingham student been like so far?
Being a student typically comes with challenges, and for international students moving to a new country alone can be extremely difficult. However, the University of Birmingham was very accommodating in helping me adjust. Personal tutors and the mentors that were assigned in my first year of university have both been very helpful. Thanks to these interventions, I was able to integrate into the university system quickly and without feeling isolated.
I had high expectations for the lectures, and they were more than met. It has been a privilege to learn about the pharmacy industry from seasoned professionals, and the university has given me access to these people, which I know will be to my advantage as an upcoming Pharmacist.
What has been the best part of your Pharmacy course so far ?
The communication and lab practical’s that go along with our studies are the parts of my course that I really enjoy. We have role-playing sessions to help us develop our communicative skills, how to be an empathic pharmacist when speaking with patients, and how to counsel and gather patient history as well as consent. These sessions help me connect what I learn in the lectures with real-life experiences. When it comes to lab practical’s, I get to really dive into the world of pharmaceutics and how drugs are formulated, which is very interesting to me and I look forward to these sessions.
What has inspired you most during your time as a student at the University of Birmingham?
I have to say that the pharmacists I’ve met during my placements have greatly inspired me; seeing their work and the impact it has on society is truly inspiring and significant. The pharmacists I met during my placements were always so encouraging, patient, and hardworking; they really showed me the difference they make in the lives of patients on a daily basis, which I was very grateful to experience, and the prospect of having that same impact and serving people when I become a licenced pharmacist keeps me going.
What has been the best thing about studying at the University of Birmingham?
The best thing about studying at the University of Birmingham has to be the work/life balance; I can confidently say that the University of Birmingham understands the importance of maintaining that balance while also understanding the importance of having a good education. The University of Birmingham is very student-focused, and societies like the African Caribbean Society (ACS) have had a significant impact on my decision to study here. Various events have been planned, such as football games, netball matches, or simply taking a break from school and coming to listen to debates or cheer on your favourite team. The university strongly encourages students to take breaks when necessary and emphasises the importance of having that balance while studying .
What advice would you give to students thinking about studying Pharmacy?
I would advise prospective Pharmacy students that there is a lot of hard work involved in studying pharmacy, with deadlines to meet, essays to write, and so on, but as long as you have a good support system and time management skills, you will have a great time at the University of Birmingham.
How would you sum up your time studying at Birmingham in three words?
Growth, Experience and Fun