Interview: Veronika Stoyanova
Intern Reporter: Gabriela Koleva
We would like to introduce to you 5 first-year students at MU-Varna. They are young, smiling and ambitious. They have something to tell you about their first year at the University. They are Velizar and Martin from Varna, Georgi and Yanita from Burgas and Sezgin from Veliko Tarnovo. If you wish to learn about their stories, funny moments in their daily routine at the University, and why they have chosen precisely MU-Varna, you should read the following lines.
How did you choose exactly that major?
Georgi: Ever since I was a small boy I have been interested in Medicine. I remember when I was 12 years old I told my parents that I wanted to take up Medicine. Although they were not very happy with my choice because they wanted me to continue the family business, in no way did they try to stop me.
Velizar: Actually since I was first grade I have desired to become a dentist. In our classroom there was a picture of a tree, and every one of us had to draw his hand and write what he wanted to become in the future – and I wrote “Dentist”.
Sezgin: I myself made up my mind to study Pharmacy. Neither of my parents, nor I had any relation to it. Simply I am interested in it.
Yanita: I chose Nursing because it is one of the most noble and humane professions and there is nothing better than helping patients.
Martin: I’m that kind of person who likes helping other people in every possible way. Rehabilitation allows you to create a strong relationship between the health professional and the patient.
How did you find information on the admission campaign and did it in a way influence your decision to study here? What was intriguing about the University?
Georgi: I applied in Sofia and Varna, and I was admitted to both Universities, but finally the decision was in favour of Varna. I like the facilities available at the University.
Velizar: My mother was the greatest enthusiast, being busy all the time organizing my application. She knew when, and what was required, and I was just preparing and going to exams. What made me choose MU-Varna was the fact that the material base of the Faculty has been completely renovated and has plenty of new technologies.
Sezgin: I had done a survey on all medical universities in Bulgaria, focusing especially on their rating. Consequently, I chose MU-Varna.
Yanita: I found out about the Open Days on the Internet, and I attended the event two years in a row – 11th and 12th grade. The first time I was there to explore, while the second – because I loved it and wanted to visit it again. I met intelligent and confident people with broad smiles at the University, who greatly impressed me and motivated my choice.
Martin: Different students from Varna universities visited us at our school. They handed out flyers and informed us on the Open Days. I was already pretty interested in Medicine, so I visited the Open Days at MU-Varna, where I was informed on everything regarding my specialty, and I obtained further information on the University itself.
How did you get ready for the exams? Did you attend courses or rely on self-preparation?
Georgi: I was getting ready through private lessons in Chemistry and Biology. Of course, I focused on systematic study of the material on both subjects, included in the exams.
Velizar: I attended private lessons in Chemistry and Biology and did the tests in the collections of MU-Varna. Unfortunately, I was not admitted during the first year, but that did not discourage me to apply the next year again. Moreover, I had plenty of time to get better prepared.
Sezgin: My preparation was carried out with the help of private tutors in Chemistry and Biology, since I’m a graduate of a Language High School, and the training in these two subjects during the last two years was not so serious.
Yanita: My preparation was carried out through the intensive course that the University offers to students.
Martin: I made the decision to study Medicine too late, so I enrolled in the intensive courses, offered by MU-Varna, and eventually I was very satisfied with the outcome.
What about your first year at the University?
Georgi: The first year passed very quickly indeed, because besides all lectures and exercises that we had, here I was able to make new friends. Becoming a part of the Student Council, opened up to me new opportunities for interesting activities apart from those that I had as a medical student.
Velizar: The first year passed very quickly and vigorously. I like the people I meet, and I can already call them my friends.
Sezgin: Since I’m here, I have been deeply impressed by the lecturers and my colleagues, and everything is very high level. Everyone is capable of becoming a part of the community quickly and making new friends.
Yanita: My colleagues are terrific, the lecturers are experts in their respective fields, and at the same time they manage to break the ice between us and them. After adapting to the new surroundings, everything began to happen very easily, and although the days pass quickly, they are very pleasant and charged with emotions.
Martin: Everything exceeds my expectations. I am very pleased with the lecturers and my colleagues.
How do you communicate with your lecturers?
Georgi: The lectures are absolutely intelligible for the students who grapple with such material for the first time. The majority of the terms are profoundly explained by the professors so there is no need to ask questions. Anyway, we always have the opportunity to ask questions, if something is not clear enough, which makes the barriers even smaller. Things are explained correctly, we always have some extra time after the lecture. The groups are small – 10 to 12 people. Every one of us has the opportunity to ask specific questions to the Assistant Professor so that every student who wants to learn something is in no way hampered by the system or the lecturers.
Velizar: Our lecturers try to explain to us the intricately written material in simple terms.
Sezgin: The lecturers are quite different. Each of them is trying to draw the attention to their subject and to make the students appreciate it.
Yanita: In my opinion every lecturer is different. Some of them break the ice, using jokes and funny stories. Others strictly adhere to the curriculum. In the beginning it is difficult until you get used to the new material, but later on you understand what they are trying to explain to you. I can definitely say there is adequate feedback.
Martin: I am glad that the communication between us is easy. They try to explain the material in an interesting and accessible way through multimedia presentations.
Which are your favourite subjects? Which of them do you find most difficult? Do you get enough practical trainingbesides the lectures?
Georgi: Anatomy was the most interesting subject to me, and Embryology – the most difficult one. Since the beginning of the second semester we have been studying Splanchnology, which includes the study of internal organs, and for me personally it is very interesting.
Velizar: There are no easy or difficult subjects, everything depends on which lesson the material is from. For me the most interesting subject was Dental Materials. It includes a practical part, when we made plaster casts. During the first semester we made teeth from soap in Propedeutics, which was difficult but interesting.
Sezgin: During the first semester I had only 4 subjects. The different types of Chemistry were the most interesting to me. Most of them are related to practical activities – doing various experiments, chemical reactions, involving observation and description. They attract students’ attention most of all. The most difficult to me was Higher Mathematics, which is far from the specific medical subjects, but it involves logic to a great deal, and it is necessary to constantly read and solve scores of problems.
Yanita: Likewise, all subjects we studied were interesting to me. If I had to pick the most difficult one, I would choose “Medical Organisation in Distress Situations”. You can gain something from each subject and going home, you are eager to read something more related to the subject. As for the practical part – our group entered the hospital as early as the third week from the start of our training. We began to communicate with patients, to observe procedures live. For me it was really exciting.
Martin: My combination of the most interesting and at the same time the most difficult subject was Anatomy. Each lecture and exercise was thrilling. The exercises were full of details, accompanied with a long practical part, which took place in the dissecting room – every muscle and organ were thoroughly examined and explained, as well as visualized on a large 3D screen.
Did you make new friends at the University and did you take advantage of the extracurricular activities offered?
Georgi: Fortunately, I encountered a group of people who are as interested in Medicine as I myself am. I found friends with whom I can discuss not only the teaching material, but also to spend my free time with. MU-Varna and in particular the Student Council and the three Associations offer a wide range of opportunities to participate in campaigns. Some of us took part in the Paintball Tournament, which is a part of the “Rector’s Cup”, organized by the Student Council.
Velizar: I have found a lot of new friends. Everyone comes from a different place, different nationality and brings his history with him. My favorite campaign connected with my specialty was “Healthy Children’s Teeth”. I also took part in the Bowling Club in “8th December Cup” and won the second place.
Sezgin: I have made new friends as well. Regarding the extracurricular activities – most of them are organized by the Student Council and the Associations. The campaign that touched my heart most of all was the blood donation campaign for the people injured at the accident in Hitrino. I was impressed by the fact that many foreign students took part in it as well, which is indicative of the commitment of the entire capacity of students at MU-Varna.
Yanita: On friendships – how can you resist making friends with such intelligent people that you encounter at MU-Varna? It is a pleasure to communicate with them. As for extracurricular activities, the Student Council is extremely active. I can’t imagine that in Bulgaria there is another Student Council, which manages to unite so many students, inspiring them to be active. I was fascinated by the play “Infarktus”, performed by the theatrical troupe at MU-Varna.
Martin: We met lots of new people, interesting personalities from all over Bulgaria and abroad. Each of them brings qualities that contribute to the creation of the overall spirit of the University. The extra-curricular activities, organized by MU-Varna, are very attractive. The most fascinating to me are the activities dealing with children, which are intended to reduce the gap between a health professional and children.
How would you like to develop your career after graduating the University, and do you intend to stay in Bulgaria?
Georgi: I intend to specialise Surgery. Contrary to the popular opinion, I believe that in Bulgaria there are plenty of opportunities for development in all medical specialties. The good thing is that MU-Varna provides us with the opportunity to observe two live operations as early as our first month here as students, which I think is a huge privilege.
Velizar: I intend to develop myself in the field of Dental Medicine, but abroad.
Sezgin: The diploma of Master of Pharmacy allows development in a variety of aspects. Besides working in a pharmacy, which is obvious, a master-pharmacist can work in a wide scope of pharmaceutical companies – drug manufacturing, distribution, control and storage. Pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest growing and one of the most profitable at the moment.
Yanita: Since we have just begun to visit the hospital, and gradually we are going visit a lot of departments, I still do not know which unit will appeal to me most of all. Each department has its own specifics, and I should find the right one for me. Our generation is being trained in new approaches, and although in Bulgaria the nurse is believed to be always angry, I think the nurses graduating our training course at MU-Varna will be happy, smiling and helpful.
Martin: Studying “Rehabilitation”, I have two spheres of development – clinical and hospital orientation, and sports orientation. Initially I had chosen sports, but after entering the hospital l feel hesitant because I like it there, too. I have not decided which one to take up yet.
What advice would you give to future freshmen at MU-Varna and what would you like to wish them?
Georgi: I will not promote MU-Varna to prospective applicants. I recommend to them to get acquainted with the opportunities offered by medical universities, and then they themselves will realize that MU-Varna is the best choice.
Velizar: I would advise them to study systematically and not to leave everything for the session, because the material is not so tough if you start learning on time. I wish them to have fun and to love what they are doing.
Sezgin: My advice to prospective applicants is if they are still in two minds whether to choose MU-Varna or another medical university, not to give a second thought on which one is the best. There is nothing to wonder about – MU-Varna is the right choice. They will be impressed by the good results they will achieve.
Yanita: I would tell them – don’t think twice, this is the right place. MU-Varna is the perfect place for a young person who wants to develop herself and has the potential. The University, lecturers and people here are awesome, so this is the right choice.
Martin: I wish the would-be students success and to have fun every single second of their free time, because henceforth their free time will become less and less. It takes a lot of efforts to develop yourself in the right way in your environment. Anyway, the University offers plenty of extracurricular activities to enjoy throughout the training process.