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My Journey as an International Student in the BPharm (Hons) Programme at IMU

02 Jun 2022

Mohamed Abdishakur Hassan, an international student studying pharmacy at the International Medical University (IMU), graduated with his degree in 2021. Here, he describes his experience of studying in Malaysia. Firstly, let me talk about what fascinated me to join the pharmacy programme? It is a profession with a combination of science in drug development/formulation, health care, direct patient contact, and business management. In addition, the career pathway that entailed in pursuing pharmacy as a degree had a wide array of career opportunities that came with it, such as hospital/community health service, pharmaceutical research, industries, government health administration, and lastly academia. Secondly, being an international student, I always wanted to pursue a pharmacy degree in a reputable university and that is how I found IMU. I was happy to join the BPharm (Hons) programme at IMU after I completed my foundation year in Malaysia as I always wanted to join IMU even prior to coming to Malaysia. The decision to pursue BPharm (Hons) at IMU was solely based on the fact that IMU is branded as an international university where students, lecturers and researchers are from different backgrounds that adds towards a rich cultural diversity that exists in the university. The pharmacy programme itself has a mixture of Malaysian and international lecturers. This goes for almost all the programmes offered at IMU. Secondly is the reputation that IMU has garnered as a partner university to many universities around the world supplemented with a wide array of global and local networks. To me, IMU is one of the most reputable universities in Malaysia.

It is worth mentioning how the BPharm (Hons) has helped me to further my studies specialising in pharmacy practice in my master’s programme. When I completed my BPharm (Hons) degree at IMU, I became really interested in pursuing a master’s programme to specialise in pharmacy practice. The reason behind me making this decision was the quality of education, knowledge, and keen interest on my part to further enhance my knowledge, skillset in the field of pharmacy practice. This was further reinforced by the quality of lecturers whom I had a great deal of familiarity during my undergraduate years.

The 4 years of my journey in the IMU BPharm (Hons) programme have been some of the most exciting and challenging as an international student. The uniqueness of the programme is that it has been developed with aim of providing the students with the tools and skillset needed to deliver comprehensive patient-first care. Throughout my study, I always looked forward to the clinical sessions since the programme used patient simulated teaching and problem-based learning (PBL). This type of learning equipped and prepared pharmacy students to be adept and good at giving patient care management, responding to symptoms, medication review and finally, counselling patient on lifestyle modification. Furthermore, this prepared us for our clinical and community placements in Semester 8 and life in pharmacy as a career. Despite the Covid-19 lockdowns, the lecturers ensured that the learning is not compromised and provided us with the means to still tackle and solve various hospital-related cases ranging from Respiratory systems, Cardiovascular systems, Renal systems, and finally infection-related cases. It was almost as if we were in the hospital. As an international student, I really valued my time at IMU, the pharmacy programme and the lecturers who are accommodating, had a welcoming attitude and were always available. Therefore, I would certainly recommend the IMU pharmacy programme to international students whose hope is to study pharmacy in Malaysia.

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