“It’s one of the best countries to study medicine!”

From anatomy class in the morning to cliff diving in the afternoon

What is it really like to be a medical student at Queen Mary, Malta Campus Jeremy Ng, a second-year medical student in Gozo, says it’s one of the best countries to study medicine. In fact, he says it’s one of the best universities to study medicine full stop. 

A model of a brain that helps students learn.

My alarm goes off around 8am during term time

I live in Victoria – in an apartment inside The Duke shopping mall – so getting to University doesn’t take long. Breakfast is usually fried or boiled eggs then I leave around 8:30am to get to classes at 8:45am. 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.

In the morning you’ll find me in anatomy, physiology, or histology practicals, which happen once per week, followed by lectures. My favourite class has to be anatomy. It’s fascinating to see the cadavers laid out, plus the lecturers are really fun. Lunch is usually chicken and couscous with lots of veggies and a delicious chickpea sauce, usually in the University 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 to €5, 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 found caudally in the head, and it felt much tougher than 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, 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, depending on how I feel. I’ve yet to try the traditional Maltese dish of rabbit, but 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.

On Fridays I meet up with friends

At the start of the year, I’d go to bars. 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.

Lights out is normally around 1am to 2am, depending on how much work I have on. Sometimes I do Anki (an open-source flashcard programme) 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 at least!