A day in the life of a Malta student
What it’s really like to be a medical student at Queen Mary University in Malta
Jeremy Ng is a first-year medical student who was born in Malaysia and went to a British international school in China. He lives with his roomate in Gozo and this is what a typical day looks like for him…
MY ALARM GOES OFF… around 8am during term time. I live in Victoria – in an apartment inside The Duke shopping mall – so getting to uni doesn’t take long. Breakfast is usually fried or boiled eggs for some protein then I leave around 8:30am to get to uni at 8:45am. If I’m running late it’ll be an energy drink as I walk uphill to campus. During the holidays, it’s a completely different story: there’s no schedule so it depends on what’s been happening the night before and what I’ve got planned for the day!
DURING THE MORNING YOU’LL FIND ME… in anatomy, physiology or histology practicals, which each happen once per week, followed by lectures. I’m in the morning group, which runs from 9am to 11am. My favourite class has to be anatomy. It’s fascinating to see the cadavers laid out, plus the lecturers are really funny.
LUNCH LOOKS LIKE… chicken and couscous with lots of veggies and a delicious chickpea sauce in the uni cafeteria with friends. Restaurants tend to be on the expensive side but you can get a healthy, tasty meal at the cafeteria for around 3-5 euros so most of us do that.
MY MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT SO FAR… happened in an anatomy class. The lecturers had laid out the cadaver so we could see the brain and the face. It was surreal at first but seeing it in 3D and getting to feel each part helps you remember. I went to prod the cerebellum, which is located caudally in the head, and it felt much tougher than I expected. I’d always thought it would feel like jelly.
AFTER LECTURES HAVE FINISHED… I’ll either go to the gym or head home to relax, watching YouTube or TV shows. If it’s a Monday, I’ll meal prep for the rest of the week. It’s a great way to save money. I’ll normally make four meals and then go out on a Friday. I cook rice, pasta, couscous, chicken, beef, pork… depends on how I feel. I’m yet to try the traditional Maltese dish of rabbit, but I might give it a go this summer. I do love the traditional Maltese snack of pastizzi (pastries) but there’s so much oil in them I don’t have them too often.
Then if I feel up to it, I’ll do some flashcards. There’s some software called Anki that a lot of us medical students use as it helps you remember.
On Fridays, I meet up with friends. At the start of the year, when I first came over, I’d go to bars but now we’ve found friendship groups, we usually go to each other’s places to watch a movie, have a drink or make dinner together. Buses are fairly reliable and a convenient way to get around.
MY SOCIAL HIGHLIGHT.. was the end-of-year boat party. We took a boat from Gozo to Comino, the small island between Malta and Gozo, and stopped in a cove where we went for a swim and jumped off the cliffs. We then went to Blue Lagoon, where there are little trucks selling food and drinks. We had such a blast, it was great.
LIGHTS OUT IS NORMALLY… around 1am to 2am, depending on how much work I have on. Sometimes I do Anki until 10pm or 11pm then I need to relax a bit to unwind before sleep. I’m usually messaging on my phone until I turn the lights off, which I know isn’t great but I do filter the blue screen!