Visa Guidelines is back

Alhamdulillah, I got married to a lovely lady by the name of Sarah and we're enjoying our new phase in life since that momentous day.

And yeah, I graduated from the University of Nottingham and thus, escaping from the evil clutches of my medical school. woot2! probably needs a post on this as well but yeah, maybe later.

at the bottom of this blog, there is an article on visa guidelines for medical students graduated from UK medical schools under MARA scholarship who are planning to work as an FY1 doctor in the UK.

After all, it was my visa guidelines which i made 5 years ago that helped me to get to know a lot of people and for some, have now become my close friends. And it helped a lot of other people as well. So I hope that this guideline would ease your efforts a bit. Visa application is always confusing.

Scroll down to the bottom for the guideline

Monday, January 19, 2009

a thousand miles



I have this feeling inside of me. It's green. It's envy.

I envy those who have their friends since they were in kindergarten and they're still together.

I envy those who have their friends since high school and they're flying off to the same country.

I envy those who have their friends going to the same university.

It's envy. Green with envy.

I found myself thinking about this most of the time. Throughout my life, it seems like I have to restart all over again. I made new friends and I found myself leaving them when I have to go to another place. When I moved to Penang, when I moved back to Shah Alam, when I go to MRSM TGB, when I enroll in KMB and it will happen once again when I fly to UK, insya-Allah.

It's undeniable that I actually have this crazy thought of persuading my friends who'll be flying off to other countries to actually apply to UK; especially when I found out they can still apply through UCAS Clearing. A much crazier idea was to actuate my friends who are applying to universities other than mine to opt for Clearing and what's more demented is that I even consider myself to enter Clearing just so that I have a chance to go the same university as my friends.

Okay, so I can't actually do any of these. I'm still rational and these plans are not even realistic. I guess I just have to let them go. And it's indubitably that I'm going to miss them...

"Ukhwah itu indah bila bertemu dan berpisah kerana Allah"

The second.

photo by petecarr

19th January 09
KLCC
Liverpool

So the second interview didn't really intimidate me as much as the first. I did get a good sleep last night.

And so my mum and I went to KLCC and we really didn't know where Traders Hotel was; so we walked around the Ground floor to find the information centre and as we approached the glass windows where you can see the lovely park, there it was - Traders Hotel; located directly across the park.

So, I had a stroll around the KLCC park with my mum and I kind of enjoyed it cause it's been a long time since we went for a walk. How cool is that - Going for a walk in the park with your mum before facing a crucial medical interview?

Traders Hotel is definitely a place of high class. No wonder most UK universities held their interviews here. And here are my questions:

1. What has really made you want to do medicine? (I got the No. 1 question once again)
2. So, tell us, why Liverpool? (I did prepare for this question - PBL, city, multicultural and one answer which I can't believe I blurted it out "I want to experience the nightlife there" - Hahaha, yeah right)

And Liverpool actually had large proportion of their questions based on my personal statement.

3. In your PS, you stated that you had participated in several hospital attachments. Tell us about that.
4. You also mentioned that you went to Cambodia and you really like the children. How does that help you in becoming a doctor?
5. You also suffered bronchopneumonia which means you were a patient. So that must have given you a different perspective towards this profession.
6. You mentioned team spirit is vital. Please describe how teamwork is really important as a doctor.

Honestly, I was smiling everytime I hear bits of my PS being mentioned throughout interview. It's like - Yes! Finally! Something in the PS!

There were also some questions which I had to use my classmates as examples. Hehe.

7. Please describe any conflicts that you have faced in a team.
8. Do you prefer to be a leader or a follower?
9. Please describe any events during your exposure in the medical world which involves ethical arguments. (This is the hardest for me)

For Question 9, initially, I said "No, there aren't any" but the interviewer repeated the question and I knew I had to think of something quick. All in all, I managed to answer their questions and the interview took less than 15 minutes. And I have to say it was OK.

This time, I smiled enough and my eye contact was more controlled. Another problem though - my throat was dry. I guess the temperature was too cold. Maybe I should drink some water during the interview.

I realized something throughout my interviews. At times, I couldn't really hear every word uttered by the interviewers. Then I remembered my Eng Oral; Ms Nora once said that "Adlan, if you're talking fast like that, no one can get what you're trying to say". Well, if the interviewers talked fast too and I couldn't hear what they're trying to say, so that must mean they can hear what I say. Right? Because they talk faster than me. Never mind that.

Here's a tip for fellow readers, don't ever say "Can you please repeat the question?". Surely, the interviewers would be smiling and they would kindly repeat the question. But in their minds - "What the heck?", "You expect me to repeat the question which took me 5 minutes to ask you?" and "Repeat? Seriously, who's interviewing who?".

Instead, say "I beg your pardon, can you please clarify the question?" or look for the word "clarify" in the thesaurus and use it in the above sentence.

Choosing UK was quite a challenge for me. It wasn't a personal decision. I'm actually separating myself from my friends that'll be going to other countries. But when I have to make the final choice for my university, it's going to be personal; definitely...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the way i are

It's interview season in KMB and I couldn't help but feel nervous most of the times. (My fingernails even turned purple whenever I thought about the medical interviews).

Waiting for the day of the first interview is like waiting for the first visit to the dentist, first time taking an exam or waiting for the UPSR, PMR, or SPM result. It's nerve-racking!

The first.


photo by amchu

14th January 09
KMB
Manchester

Manchester interview was quite fun I think. It has two parts - the first consisted of general questions and the second one was more of a discussion on a medical issue. These are some of the questions that I was asked during my interview. (They're not exact questions though, it's not like I brought a tape recorder into the room)

First part,

1. Why medicine? (Most popular question for any interviews; though some didn't get this question)
2. What have you learnt from the attachments that you participated?
3. Have the attachments helped in giving you a deeper insight in the medical profession?
4. How can you cope with the course of medicine in Manchester?
5. How do you deal with stress? (Manchester loves this question)

The 1st part was mostly personal. I didn't think I answered it as well as I thought I would be. But, I think it was quite good. Now, we move on to the 2nd part, the more interesting one.

Second part,

1. The usage of drugs in sports can actually help in boosting an athlete's performance. Is this inexcusable?

During this question, my mind was like thinking critically hard and the interviewer actually asked whether or not I understand the word "inexcusable". I just said yes though actually, I couldn't even think what it means. (Hey, I was really nervous at that time, timorous even)

And so I said, if the drugs are helpful, why not? In other words, I'm actually supporting the usage of drugs in sports. And the attacking begins...

2. So you're saying, "Let's give drugs to all the athletes"?
3. Don't you think it's unfair?
4. Drugs can be potentially dangerous. Are you still saying that drugs should be allowed?

Honestly, I didn't really hear the first question for this part and I just agreed on that matter - to use drugs in sports. When I heard the second question, I knew it, I had given the wrong answer - nope, there's no right or wrong answer - it's just that I've given the answer which I don't intend to.

I would really like to take back my words and go against the usage of drugs but that would somehow show that I'm not firm in making decisions. And so I said the athletes can judge themselves whether or not they can win by using drugs or without drugs. And they're still attacking. And I kept defending my stand.

5. Do you think the athletes would care if they win by using drugs? A gold medal is still a gold medal.

And there're more questions but somehow I managed to answer all of them. Most of my answers are like - the public should know which athletes use drugs, doctor's consent, recommended amount and etc.

I noticed two problems during my interview - my eye contact and the smiling part. I sometimes looked at the air conditioner but I managed to look back at my interviewers' eyes. And although I smile continuously, I didn't think I smile that much in the interview. Anyway, I had a great time BUT that doesn't mean I'm confident in getting the offer but I do hope so.

The interviewers were really nice and they're the ones who smiled all the time. We do laugh occasionally but the problem is, I didn't know whether they're laughing at me or the jokes that were made. The interviewers kept saying that my answers were "interesting", I hope that's good. All in all, I would say it was OK.

I just realized something. It took about 15-20 minutes only to make a good impression to the interviewers - to show who you really are. It's freaky somehow. On the contrary, the interview in the hereafter is based on our whole life. Now that's something worth to think about...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

waiting on the world to change

As I was walking along the route from Bukit Nanas to Dang Wangi to transfer from Monorail to RapidKL, I couldn't help noticing a very interesting sight which I'd gladly take a picture of it and put it on my blog. Unfortunately, I didn't bring along my digicam and my handphone is incapable of capturing photos with decent quality. (Really need to change my handphone once IB is over). Nonetheless, if you were there, you may want to do the same. It was a pathetic sight. Rubbish decorated the steps and escalators of the overhead bridge along the route. And the stench, I'll just leave that to your imagination. The question is - When will Malaysians change their mentality?


I wonder why John Mayer keeps waiting on the world to change. Perhaps, some things in this world are beyond our reach. We might just have to wait.

But still, we could not just sit and do nothing.

"...surely, Allah does not change a people's lot unless they change what is in their hearts..."
(Ar-Ra'd (13): 11)

Well, you might've heard of the saying like the only constant thing in the world is change. Thus, why do we have to keep waiting? We could miss the boat. And once that happened, it could all be too late. Change while we can.

And so I changed my English EE from literature to language near the end of last year and I'm going to change my TOK essay topic during this weekend. But hey, I could be taking risks here. I certainly do not know the outcome of these changes but I really like the vibe at the moment.

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending"
Maria Robinson

Change. It's either good or bad, either we like it or we hate it. So, it's up to us to ensure it goes our way. Simply, just change...

revolutionists

Visa Guidelines

Disclaimer: Everything that I have written in this article would not confirm your success in applying for a visa. It is intended to be an explanation of the things that I have done in order for me to get a Tier 4 Visa to begin my work as an FY1 doctor.

29th July - I got my visa today from DX! Alhamdulillah :)

The document which I used as a basis of my decision can be found on this link - click me

TIMELINE

14th July - My supporting docs arrived at Visa
16th July - Date of letter to invite me for the Biometric enrolment
19th July - I went to the Post Office for Visa Biometric enrolment
25th July - Received a DX delivery card for my visa because no one was around at home huhu

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED (in my opinion)

1. The ones listed on the cover sheet. For me:
Current passport and previous passport (which contained Tier 4 Visa for medschool) and 2 passport photos

2. A letter of unconditional consent from MARA.

This is based on this section on the Visa Guidance

"54. If you are currently financially sponsored by a government or an international scholarship
agency, or your financial sponsorship ended within 12 months of your application being
made, you will need your sponsor’s permission to stay in or re-enter the UK. You must
provide us with your financial sponsor’s unconditional consent in writing. This must confirm
that your sponsor has no objection to you continuing your studies in the UK. If your financial
sponsor does not give consent, we will refuse the application."

page 8 of 78

Method: Call MARA and explain to them that you would like this letter. Email MARA with your full name, passport no, name of hospital for FY1 and your Foundation School. E.g. Royal Preston Hospital, North Western Foundation School

3. Bank statements

The amount for outside of London is £1640. So I sent them a bank statement which is dated within 31 days of my application and the money has been held in the account for 28 days consecutively

4. CAS letter

I just printed it out from the email

5. BMedSci and BMBS degree

Yeah, I actually posted both degrees lol. This is because in the CAS letter, it states that the evidence required to obtain the letter is my degree. Hence, the reason why I did that. In addition, I chose "I have an academic qualification, at least
equivalent to a UK Bachelor's degree, taught in
English" as an evidence to demonstrate my English language ability. So, I think these degrees would be sufficient.

6. Cover sheet

Which you can print off after submitting your application

All the best!!