GOOD NEWS

Howdy! I haven’t been keeping my post a week- resolution too well, but I am here again! And this time instead of only stress-related topics (also those actually), I’m also sharing here some great news!

As I think I wrote on my last post, for as long as I remember, I’ve had one dream – to become a doctor. And as known rather widely, it can be a rather difficult dream to pursue. I also had another dream for just as long, which was to study abroad. (Fun fact, my original dream was to study in the med school in Hawaii, but that’s literally the only thing ever that I’ve given up on since I saw the 70 000$ yearly tuitions for foreigners eh.. But thankfully it was one of many, many options) And now, to my biggest surprise, I’ve actually fulfilled both of those!! Well I mean, it will obviously take me at least 6 years to become an actual doctor, but I am on the path. And I’m so happy, I think I cried happy tears almost the whole day when I found out!  I will be starting my studies in the international track of medicine (ITM) at the University of Maastricht (UM) next fall, and I couldn’t be more excited.

 

Many have asked me, why there? And I gladly explain, but to prevent myself from repeating the same things all over here’s a very frank list:

  • I personally like the study structure of UM
  • I always preferred to study abroad. I love my homeland, but it was never really quite the place for me to stay in. I might come back yes, but now this was calling me much more.
  • I fully believe in the application process of the medical track of UM, which makes me believe in their values
  • Studying on an international track of medicine is the best possible gateway for me to reach my further goal of eventually working for Doctors without Borders
  • Graduating abroad in another language will open me many doors to work in various countries (including Finland), and is significantly easier than trying to leave to work abroad after studying in Finland
  • The university itself is located in a beautiful medieval town in the center of Europe (I’ll be a train ride away from some amazing countries and cities!! For someone who’s born and raised in a country as isolated as Finland that is a gift haha!)
  • And as for studying abroad, UM was a great choice because of its internationality and also because it’s still rather close to home, so visiting will be much easier than from some of my other options like Malaysia or Chile (even though I’m sure those would’ve also been just as great!)
  • Also, the tuition fees do obviously play a role as do binding study advice (the system of dropping out students at the end of each year), and since UM’s tuition fees are extremely reasonable and there is not binding study advice, it was a great choice

the last night before the exam I spent decorating the hostel room

aand the morning of the exam day we found this perfect stress – relief breakfast place called Livin Room, definitely recommended!

Another thing I’ve been asked plenty of times is how the application process works. So again, to not repeat myself, here’s the process in a nutshell.

  • First you send the school your previous grades
  • You full a portfolio asking all kinds of questions about motivation, previous experience in working life, extra activities and so on
  • You need to take an official language exam (such as IELTS or TOEFL) unless you full other criteria like having graduated from an IB high school
  • This year was the first and probably not the last where there were also additional exercises that took about 60h
  • Then, after the first application round (all above) you will or will not get invited for the application exam, which takes place in Maastricht itself (that was the first time I got to the city! We did a weekend trip together with my boyfriend, and the city was definitely love at first sight. That trip is also where these photos are from, taken by the very same boyfriend)
  • After the application exam UM processes the applications and you’ll find out if you belong to the 60 students accepted to the ITM at uM (or the ~250 students accepted in the Dutch track of medicine)

 

 

 

And as for Maastricht, I will definitely be telling more about the city when I actually get there! Right now I’m searching for an apartment and trying to get all my papers and so on in order (well actually right right now I’m sitting on the bus heading towards my home in Jyväskylä after spending a week of holiday in Helsinki visiting friends – after being on a study evacuation until the results came – and at my parents organizing all my toys and memories that I’ve in my old room) , and mentally preparing myself for selling all my furniture and getting rid of the things I’m not planning to take with me. It’s a long process eh, but it’s progressing. Today I’ll just go dancing, visit my grandparents and have a candlelight dinner on the balcony by myself since my roommate is sadly away tonight, tomorrow I have my last work gig (lollipops coming!) coaching the little ice skaters I’ve been coaching the whole spring while studying, a long-awaited visit to the gym and then I’m again heading back to Helsinki to celebrate Labor day (”Vappu”) together with my friends from high school. In other words, I’m making the most out of this surprise holiday! I’ve been weirdly stressed because I think it just now stroke me that I’ll be actually moving abroad until further notice. But above that, I’m excited. And as always, I’m sure things will work out just fine. Oh and to explain the term ’surprise holiday’, as most know I was indeed also going to apply to the Finnish med schools so after the exam in Maastricht I’ve been studying for the Finnish entrance exam, but since I already got the happy news from UM which was my first choice, my studying ended there – for the time being that is, there’ll be plenty of that in the future eh! I do plan on studying some English medical terms to make the beginning a bit easier for myself, and also studying for a head start in Dutch. And in a bit over two weeks I’ll already be starting my summer job, so there’s more than enough planned. Happy things! I hope you’re having lots of happy things in your life too. And for all those fellow students who are still preparing for their exams, I wish you all the luck from the bottom of my heart!!

And also, even if a bit in advance, hyvää Vappua!

Love, Anna

All the photos taken by Jeroen Coessens <3

 

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