It’s that time of year again. Students are frantically comparing notes, viewing Powerpoint slides, staying longer at the library, and there are increased sales at the campus coffee shop…

Yes, the first block of exams for students from Med 1 through Med 4 is just around the corner. Are you prepared? Are you ready? The stress of exams affects every student and professor on campus. Students develop different study methods such as self-study or group-study but what has been very helpful to students is the Educational Enhancement Department. Students teaching students their best way to study the same classes that they were successful in is a great way to give back to the AUA community. Many concepts that are difficult to grasp in physiology or biochemistry are simply explained by the student teaching assistants in the way that was helpful for them. Many students that do attend the TA sessions provided by the EED say that the sessions are very helpful for them and their grades are improving. Whatever the study method, students are succeeding and doing well at AUA.

The professors at AUA come from different backgrounds and are very experienced in their fields. There should be a way for the students and the professors to get to know each other better, like a mixer. A mixer or a student-faculty social would be good for the professors and students to interact with each other so that as students we know more about our professors. I think it would produce a better level of respect from the students to the professors actually knowing what the professors went through to get to their position that we see them at. For example, I had a few anatomy lab sections with Dr. Hassan Amarali and learned a lot about him. The only thing I knew about him before starting the class was that he was strict and he didn’t like to smile. I was so scared but I wouldn’t let it stop me from loving medicine. As I tended the lab sessions, Dr. Amarali has this persona about him that reminds me of members of my family. By the end of that semester, I learned more about Dr. Amarali than any other professor that I’ve had during my educational experience and I developed a greater respect for him.

Being away from family and friends because of a sacrifice and commitment that you’ve decided for yourself is hard. During the 16 months in Antigua, having a great set of friends is much needed when you are far away from loved ones. Friends get you through the toughest times and help you study but most importantly they are the family you make when you’re away from your family. My best memory of my friends was Thanksgiving 2009. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because all of my family and friends from home get together and enjoy good food and share what we are thankful for. Since I was away from home I wanted to celebrate the holiday with my friends, that Thanksgiving we all chipped in and cooked a meal and invited other people over and just had a good time. I felt like I was with my family again.


by Omoragiuwa Igiehon, Class of 2013