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THE USA: Subject Guides - Must read

Student insights: Studying medicine in the US

Ingrid Castenada from Colombia made the decision to pursue her studies in the USA. She gives her take on the journey and offers some advice to international students.

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I first moved to the U.S. to study an English course and chose to move to Dallas in Texas because I had some relatives nearby. I had always intended to pursue a course in medicine and had done extensive research into healthcare programmes at various institutions. I settled on Texas Woman’s University both for its location and the flexibility of courses, especially the biology and chemistry modules I took in combination in order to make my degree application



There were two main reasons that I chose the U.S. Firstly, it offers an extensive range of options and opportunities, and secondly it is internationally recognised for the quality of its degree programmes. 



The way the course is structured is ideal for international students who do not speak English as a first language. The course is built in a way that introduces the more basic information first, like anatomy and biology, and then introduces more complex concepts. 



I didn’t notice that much difference to be honest, it’s quite similar to back home. What I would say is that getting to grips with English is crucial and I dedicated a lot of time to improving my speaking, reading and writing. 




I applied for and luckily received a scholarship. This award in combination with some money I had saved allowed me to pursue my studies. The competition for scholarships and funding is extremely strong. You really have to do everything you can to stand out as well as demonstrate your talent and passion for the subject you want to study.  



To be honest, one of the biggest challenges was the language barrier. I could get by with my knowledge of English, but there were many terms I couldn’t understand at the beginning, mainly science-related. I made a conscious decision to work as hard as possible and not give up on improving my language skills



The best part of the course were definitely the tutors and professors. They were approachable and always willing to help when I had any issues or problems with a specific subject.  I really enjoyed the interactive resources that were offered as well. 


My advice would be to join different clubs and take part in as many activities as possible. It keeps you busy and it’s a great way to meet new people, make friends and network a little, which can be very helpful during your time abroad. 


Study in the USA


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