“I chose this college because of the environment,” Helia said. The soon-to-be specialist joined us in 2017 on a Level 2 in Applied Science and has since progressed to the two-year Level 3 in Medical Science.
“The atmosphere of this big college and the teachers that interviewed me played a big part in the decision. I really liked the college and decided to stay on for my Level 3.”
For some, the route into medicine is through Sixth Form, stepping up from GCSEs to A Levels and then progressing onto Higher Education at university. For Helia, however, an Extended Diploma in Applied Science offered a more comprehensive basis to work from.
“The best thing about my course is that it’s all about science; there’s a good balance of practical work, plus learning about all the inner-workings of the human body.
“This study programme has also allowed me to better understand what careers I can access through my course. There are many reasons why you might want to take a course in Biology or Physics or Chemistry, but Applied Medical Science really focuses your thought on the discipline, the methods, the career…
“The college has good ties with local institutions, especially for what I want to do. One of the opportunities I have had the chance to do is work experience at Islington Medical Centre, organised through the college. It was really great! I was there for a week and it gave me the opportunity to see that this is what I really want to do in the future.”
Helia joins us from a traditional school background and has learnt to appreciate the freedom and responsibility that comes with being a CANDI student.
“It’s different from school because you have more opportunities. You have more freedom. You can be yourself more because people are more mature because they’ve made the decision to change from high-school into a different, academic environment. I think people are more grown-up. There’s less bullying and more acceptance, which makes work and expression easier.
“Teachers are very friendly, too. Everyone is at least 16 so you are treated more like an adult. They are all very kind and rich in knowledge. Every time I ask a question they always have a good answer, and if I have a suggestion they always listen and take it into consideration.
“In a word? It’s a ‘happy’ place to study.”