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, November 14, 2011

i see the light

I have a very important exam this Wednesday.


So, this is more like a blog response to my own previous post which clearly showed my stressful condition. This post was made in reference to at least 5 people. Nope, make it 10.

1. Scrabble

It was Nottingham Malaysian Games (NMG) yesterday and I was the Quartermaster (QM) for Scrabble. It was probably the only game that I would play in NMG since Ultimate Frisbee was never in the list. But of course, there's no way I could play and maintain peace at the same time. So, I became a full-timer QM.

Anyway, I went out of my house early in the morning with a huge bag that contains all the equipments. It was important to note that the bag's handle was broken so I had to lower my body to roll the bag. It was very challenging and I somehow felt like I was in The Amazing Race doing a Road Block. Cami (Syahmi) even said that I looked like a mak cik yang terbongkok-bongkok. 

Well, the game began a bit late and I even mentioned to one of my volunteers that this game is really peaceful. Yeah right, things went into chaos after the first two rounds. Some players began giving their opinions and even bad-mouthing me. On the bright side, they weren't doing ghibah (mengumpat) as I heard those remarks right in front of me. Of course, what else I would do? There's no way I'm going to throw lemon meringue pies into these people's faces. You might think that Scrabble should not be that all challenging. Well, you have to know that these players are highly intellectual people and it's hard for me to convince them to follow the way that I have set up. Oh right, some players even ridiculed me and made a joke about myself. Sigh~

Nevertheless, most of the players were being very polite by suggesting some changes to be made in the future. Some of them courteously asked me to consider changing the way the game system works which I gladly thought about it as they were being very professional. In the end, Scrabble was the last game to finish at Portland D floor and I was really grateful that it has finally ended. 

Firstly, I just want to say to all QMs, you have my utmost respect! Now that I became one, it was truly one of the most stressful jobs to be given to anyone on NMG. It's not that I was being disrespectful to any QMs before. What I'm saying is - you can never appreciate unless you experience it yourself. Thank you Allah for giving me this chance. Hopefully, this would be the only one. Haha. I mean, ni baru Scrabble, belum lg bola, basketball, netball, badminton. I mean if indoor games are already this chaotic, outdoor games are more likely to be more challenging. To all QMs, you can all work in a Microbiology lab and survive! Seriously..

I just want to give a shoutout to all Scrabble volunteers: Dalila Atiqah, Viviene and Dorcas for helping me with Excel, tables, players with difficult behaviour and many more dramas that happened in that small room. At least, takde adegan lempang-melempang. To Akmal Aliff, kalau aku nampak apa dia buat kat kau, argh!!! Well, ape kau expect? Takkan aku nak baling pie kat muka dia kot, haha. At least, aku bagi kau Ferrero Rocher la lepas tu or Maltesers. And then aku bawak kau gi makan burger and minum Shakeaway.

I also want to thank all the Nottingham players: Li Chen, Zhao Wen and Cami for giving me guidance, tips, advices and even to help me calculate to see whether I'm doing the Math correctly. I can vividly remember them standing near the computer to check if I was entering the data correctly along with the volunteers. Thank you so much!

Guess what? I've decided to not get involve in Scrabble in the future. The reason? Just because I'm not up to the standards of the players in that room. Plus, I think I've had enough of Scrabble tiles. Hahaha. 

2. The remaining hours of NMG 

I would like to apologize to a lot of people that I didn't have the time to spend with. The people whom I could only looked from afar but not calling them and say "Hi" or giving salam as I had to be in that room most of the time. Ashraf Zakwan, I saw you walking down the hill when I was in the room. I went to the window thinking that at least, you could see me and it would be alright. But no, it wasn't destined, heh. Also to the people who tried to call me but not being able to reach me, I'm so sorry; as well as those whom I can only talk in less than 5 minutes and that was it. I would also like to apologize to Nazmi (the director of NMG) for not even looking at your face when you entered the room and talked to me. I was sorting out the data during the Swiss phase of the tournament and players were being restless due to my lack of knowledge in Excel until Dalila lended a hand. It was probably the most stressful period of the day. 

Apart from that, I was trying to redeem my past failures in the last 2 years of buying delicious Nasi Lemak. Let's just say I bought 2 of them yesterday and they were superb, alhamdulillah. And that was a redemption. I would also like to thank Cami for accompanying me to roll the broken bag from Portland to my home.

3. The talk that we had during dinner

Cami, you knew better what happened during this period. Thank you for your advices and secrets. It's true, different people have different levels of sensitivity. Ok, I'm not going to elaborate. Cukup sampai sini, heheh. Jangan bagitau orang lain, Cami ;P

4. Cleaning up the disastrous-looking kitchen at night 

Ok, I know...I should be studying. Aku kena score this upcoming paper like seriously. But when I think about it again, takkan nak biarkan dapur camtu. So, me, Faiz Khalid, Hakim Razali and Afif cleaned up the kitchen. I considered going upstairs and listening to the podcasts for the remaining 8 lectures but I decided to help along. I mean, I can clean dishes meticulously (lol, I sounded like someone suffering from OCD and I somehow think I am). And then, Faiz suddenly recited a verse from the Quran...

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ

And then, I'm like...wo, wo. That's like one of the verses that struck a chord with me. You should've seen the look on my face, I'm like "Wow". Allah is reminding me of this verse that I had once encountered in KMB when I had a tough time; the verse that frequently run through my mind when I was having difficulty but somehow, I didn't even remember it during this hard time.

Afterwards, we were like completing the verse in harmony (well, sort of). And I smiled when we finished reciting it. 2:216. how could I forget it? Well, you didn't. You were there to remind me. That's why I asked you why you thought about that verse. Although your response was to refer to the leftover chickens.

5. The walk back home after visiting Lutfi

Lut, lut, you made me worried sick. Ok, this is the first time I used this phrase to you, I think. Thank Allah, it wasn't serious :)

So, me, Cami and my housemates were walking home from QMC when we bumped into Bear (Afiq) and the gang. And Bear told me something that made me smile. He said about the reaction that this person had when he got my note. Knowing that I made someone smiled (or happy) makes me happy. So, I looked to the sky and thought, "This was a good week". 


And I told Cami about it and he enlightened me more with his words of wisdom. He said that sometimes, we tend to forget about the things around us. We'd be too focussed on our big problem and forget about the good surrounding around us. Like when you're drinking a cup of tea or coffee. If you drink it in one go, you would've missed the taste and might not be enjoying it. But if you take your time and experience it, you will feel the richness of the taste. And I'm like, "Wow Cami, you should write a blog". Haha. 

It's true. Sometimes, I'd be too focussed and stressed about something (the exam on Wednesday) that I would begin to forget about everything around me. I have a really good support system. It's just that, most of the time, I overlooked them.

Ok, that's all for now. I still have 8 lectures to go but at least, I'm back to being me... 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

under pressure

It's me again.

Microbiology.

1 word that's enough to make me feel exhausted.

It's tiring, repetitive, demanding..I fell like I'm already in a working environment.

My life is hectic. 

If you say "busy", I'll say "Microbiology".

In addition to that, Nottingham Games is on the weekend before our 1st exam. Like seriously? I'm not sure why I did that. For one thing, I know it's not to please anyone.

Maybe that's the reason why I'm feeling this way right now. I want to redeem myself for the first 2 years of Medicine. THIS is not redeeming. THIS is jeopardizing everything I have ever planned. 

Working in the lab sure makes my 3rd year stressful. Pastu ada orang yang tak faham bahasa kan; instead of being supportive, they become annoying. Annoyingly obnoxious. 

My mode right now is "like i care". So, if you think of saying something to me, firstly, imagine me saying this phrase to you. Yeah, like I care.

I need time for myself. I have to reorganize my life schedule. Things are not going smooth right now. I am not being me. 

Emo giler post ni.

Now, I'm going to continue...

In life, Allah will test you to your limits. If you're not good at handling this, you're going to find it hard to survive in this life.

Firstly, the exam is on Wednesday. I have like 5 days to prepare right? Well, not really. Minus Notts Games, minus orang datang rumah. But one thing's for sure. I'm not going to quit cause that's not being me and that's not what Allah wants me to be. I can study on Sunday and even on Nottingham Games when everyone's outside. And I'm going to shut my phone off when the time is right.

Secondly, you are going to ignore people. Yes, ignore people that don't understand you. Don't bother if they annoy you. They're just minor distractions in life. Apologize if you cannot meet the deadline and suggest another mutually acceptable date. If they say they're busy, that's probably because they have never been in a Microbiology lab.

Thirdly, I will keep calm and carry on. Basically, what I'm feeling right now is because I have an IMPORTANT exam next week. Plus, a section of my dissertation to be submitted on Monday. In addition to the Scrabble tournament that I had no idea that we're sending more than 2 people from Nottingham to play. Argh, stress!

-END-

Now, apart from all those negative vibes that you can get from reading the above writings; I'll let you know what made my day in this week:

1. On Monday, I got an email saying that I got the position that I was applying for. It's something that I had wished for so long, alhamdulillah. This will make my life at the university more interesting. And yesterday was the day for the first briefing for my new position. I love my new job! Makes me feel jubilant despite the gloominess of the evening sky. The meeting was held at 4.15pm and I know I was smiling at that time.

2. Yesterday, Jeni, a lady who's working in the same lab as I am; revealed to me that my project is going towards a different direction with new techniques, new methods which could lead to new discovery, iA. And yeah, less dull than what I've done previously. Plus, she's the one who suggested it to Dr Kim. Thanks Jeni for making me feel more hopeful.

3. Banana milkshake. Cami promised me that he'd get me a banana milkshake. It took him months :P But it makes me smile nonetheless when he finally gave it to me yesterday.

4. Tempe. Semalam aku goreng tempe, pergh..bila makan terus rasa happy.

5. And of course, this:

Gambar ni tak sempat nak masuk birthday post, huhu

Techinically, I received this gift last week on the night of Eid Ul-Adha but still, bila tengok rasa macam nak tergelak & rasa bersyukur sebab ada kawan yang sanggup go to a distance to make my day. Thank you. Still tak nak keluar kan dari plastik sebab rasa macam sayang nak pakai, haha.

Ok, that's all for now. I need to sleep early. My lab sessions are very challenging. Right now, it's like 7-6.

And when I have too many things at hand, one after another, I remember 94:7...

Friday, November 04, 2011

last friday night

Okay, as usual...I would write a blogpost about my birthday.

My cake =)

So this is a story of what happened yesterday...so I went for an interview (interview apa? tak nak cerita for now) yesterday on my birthday! Haha. And guess what? I was late for an hour O_o

The thing was; I went out early for the interview at the city. But when I reached the city, apparently this place is not exactly known by many people. But strangers did try their best to help me. Well anyway, I called to let the interviewers know that I'd be late for about 30 minutes. And so I asked the driver to stop at the place that I wanted but no, I ended up stopping at City Hospital yang jauh giler tu. He actually forgotten to stop at the place that I wanted. So, he dropped me while at the traffic lights and exclaimed, "Oh it's not that far, it's just around the corner down there". Well, I ended up climbing hills for about 30 min. 

Somehow, the experience of walking to an unknown destination made me feel like I was a contestant of The Amazing Race, haha. Stranger by stranger helped me to get to the manor that was supposed to be a place for my interview. Seriously, I was sweating by the time I got there and apologized deeply to the interviewers but of course, they were really understanding and nice. They even felt sorry that I have to walk so far. (Actually, bila aku first time kena pergi Portland Primary School bila jadi Student Associate pon aku jalan 1 jam sebab the bus that I wanted wasn't in service during that time. So yeah, I'm usually late on my 1st important meeting. Let's hope this would end.)

So, the interview...

The interviewers went inside the room which was so colourful and looked like a nursery (hint) and began asking questions about myself and my family. I talked about my siblings, Mira, Hani & Irfan; and that we all get along and became closer as we grow older. Most of my answers imply that I'm missing my family. I even told the 2 interviewers that I called Mak & Ayah the day before my birthday just to show them the funny blogpost that I wrote for the university. Then suddenly, one of the interviewers said...

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

And I'm like, "wah, terharunye". I gave them my bright side smile :)

So, the interview went well I think (except for the fact that it began an hour later than it was supposed to, hohoho). The interviewers even said, "We really appreciate that you're being very open with your answers". Well, that's what you get when I'm being me. They even asked, "Are you planning on doing anything today?". I replied jokingly,

"I'm hoping that my housemates are planning a surprise birthday party for me"
(Little did I know that this was going to happen later)

And then, we all laughed. When it was time to sign the application form, I wrote down the date as 3/11/1989. And the interviewer said, "Your mind is thinking about your birthday" and smiled while correcting the error for me. And then, she said, "Thank you for coming to the interview on your birthday".

So, that's the 1st part of my day.

The 2nd part was in the lab.

I'm not sure if you've ever experience it but when I was in the lab, I kept seeing all these bottles with the labels 3/11. It's just so weird for me. I'm like, that's my birth date, hey, that's my birth date again. And even when I wrote down the date on my lab book, it's just so weird. But thank Allah, I didn't have to spend so many hours in the lab on that day or I might go bonkers.

The 3rd part is the part that needs to be highlighted.

It's in my house. So, we planned to have an iftar with everyone in Dunkirk. And then, it was time for me to leave for my Arabic class. And I went to the kitchen and Hosni said "Lut" and Lutfi followed me to the kitchen. That's when I can tell something's going to happen. Hosni was talking to the attendees while I was cleaning my plate and Lut was hovering nearby. I actually thought that Lut was going to prevent me from going back to the living room so I decided to give it a try. In my mind, I was imagining the living room was going to be dark and when I went back to the living room, everyone would shout, "Happy Birthday". I know that this is so typical but I haven't had any experience of this typical surprise. Oh btw, I actually imagined there will be a cake coming from Akmal's room. Lol. 

But this was what actually happened,

I went to the living room and Lut did not stop me. So, I'm like okay, so there won't be anyone hiding in the dark. Hosni stopped me and I knew it, a cake is going to pop up somewhere. Lut came along with a cake from the kitchen, hehe. And everyone began wishing me. And I'm like, finally, a proper birthday party...correction, a proper surprise birthday party. Although it wasn't perfectly executed, at least I appreciate the attempt. 

The reason why I said "finally" (monolog dalaman) was because I like to compare my birthday party to others. By others, I meant my housemates. Like for this one housemate, someone actually made a cake for him, or for this housemate, he gets a cake during our dinner. It's good that no one saw my reaction when I saw these cakes on various occasions cause I was giving a how-come-I-didn't-get-one? look. After this, I can finally show my being-me look cause at least, I have had one ;)

 photo courtesy of Syafiq Zaim

Siapa yang tak datang semalam, serious aku ingat :P

Siapa yang datang, serious aku ingat :)

Not that I'm complaining but I did get something else from the people I care and people who care which made all my birthdays special in different ways even until this day.

A gift from Cami =)

Thank you for all those tweets, FB posts, FB messages, text messages from Malaysia and UK (not forgetting, Ireland), gifts (thank you Cami!), the attempt to make a surprise on my birthday, and to everyone who attended. Guess what? Since I have a good memory, this is going to stay for a very long time. (Apip buat kuih seri muka yang best)

My mentor-mentee group did plan a surprise birthday party as well when I was in KMB and the funny thing was, they actually bought the same cake that I bought for my class. Lol.

And that was probably the last time I said "you made my night".

Now, I can probably say it once again, alhamdulillah, you made my night...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

boom

Hello,

I planned to write this one on the 2nd of Nov, not the 3rd. Oh well, I'm gonna write about BOOM Camp that we had last week anyway.

Ok, so we had an event that was initially a one day programme and we transformed it into a camp filled with fun and activities! With the theme "fun in the air", (this theme popped up into my head instantaneously when someone asked about it during the meeting) we were prepared to give our all despite the number of turnouts (which could be improved). 

This is going to be a personal post so I hope that you won't feel bored, haha (I'm so sorry). 

First, we had the activity called Leap of Faith. We had to climb up a platform which was 24 feet above the ground. In front of us, was a ball. The task - by having faith that we would not fall flat on the ground below or more appropriately, we believe that everything would be just fine, we had to hit the ball before experiencing free fall for a few minutes. Of course, it was all safe and secured but to have the courage to jump and tackle the ball, was truly a challenge to be overcome. And I just love adrenaline rush.

Gear up

Look at the view from above

And take that leap of faith

Afterwards, we had a session with Dr Al-Hady, a Specialist Registrar in the Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine. The talk was indubitably inspirational yet, the time allocated for the speaker was not adequate enough as the participants wanted to listen more to the stories from the doctor. By the way, it is important to note that I had the chance to hold a baby in my arms =) Maybe it's been a long time since I had the chance to do that. And people, remember that every events are planned and destined by Allah ^^

Moving on, we had BBQ and let me tell you, it was a feast that none will forget. In addition, from the feedback forms, ALL participants gave a rating of 5.0 whereby they agreed that "Makanan yang disediakan mencukupi" during the BBQ session.

Later at night, we had BOOM Workshop. It is really the true identity of BOOM. The famous workshops whereby participants would rotate in a cycle and go to different stations to learn about several different skills namely Communication Skills, Financial Management, Stress Management, Time Management and Study Skills. I would have joined along but I was too preoccupied with the event tomorrow. The participants gave good feedback for this workshop and even requested that the sessions would be made longer.

 One of the "interactive" stations :P

And on the next day, we had The Amazing BOOM Race. Out of all the The Amazing Race wannabes out there, I have to say that this one was definitely a wannabe. Cause we had Detours and Roadblocks :D Even Speed Bump! I wish that the race would be made longer and with more physical activities..but I think for now, it was sufficient as an initial step. After all, this was an initiative, huhu.

The clues with Route Infos, Detours and Road Blocks

One of the Top 3 teams, congratulations!

The wonderful committee members, only Allah can repay all of you

Lastly, we had Time Portal. The concept was simple. It's like you're writing a letter to yourself in the future. Instead of putting the letters inside a time capsule and burying it somewhere, we decided to post the letters to the house of the participants. Oh yeah, to all of my friends that had received letters from me, you'd realized that most of my writings were written on coloured papers. And for these participants, they had the same opportunity as I am!

One thing about BOOM Camp is that I realized that it's so personal that I think I might have design it to be something that I would like. But the feedback's great! They loved it and I enjoyed it ;)

And we are from Nottingham (and Loughborough) :)
sorila Akmal gambar kau takde, huhu.

Well anyway, I hope the bond that we share will be blessed by Allah. I know, I wish it was longer than 2 days and I wish that we had more people but hey, I'm happy :)

And speaking of BOOM Camp, I just want to let you know that my blogpost for the Nottingham Advantage Award has been launched on the University of Nottingham's blog. I was laughing when I saw the blogpost. Seriously, sangat kelakar. Hahaha. Oh, tinggalkan la comment so that they would ask me to write more, huhu.

Oh, kaitannya dengan post ni? Well, I think it's important for us to dream high and to bloom out of mediocrity.

Why?

Simply because that's what Allah wants you to be...and I'm ready to be all I can be...

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!!