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Studying IMU Foundation in Science: A Memory to Cherish

25 Oct 2021

Are you confused about the pre-university programme you want to pursue? I was equally confused after completing the Malaysia Education Certificate or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) in 2019. Fortunately, at that time, I came across a brochure from International Medical University (IMU) which offers one of the best pre-university programmes, the Foundation in Science (FIS) programme. I then decided to join the September Intake due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The FIS programme in IMU is a well-designed pre-university programme which helps to equip their students with the essential skills and knowledge for students to progress into their preferred undergraduate programmes. Furthermore, IMU is well known for training many healthcare professionals and it is just a stone’s throw away from my house, so it was the most favourable choice for me. The transition from high school to pre-university is a roller-coaster ride but I am truly grateful to my parents who never failed to support and provide me with sufficient resources, especially since my classes were held fully online. My parents played a very significant role in raising me till today and words can never express how thankful I am to them. Although I only visited my campus thrice during my foundation year due to the pandemic, I still managed to form meaningful friendships that I would treasure for a lifetime.

My Role as a Class Representative
During my first semester in FIS, I took on a challenge that shaped me into a person with good leadership skills. I have always been known to be a timid girl who loved working behind the scenes, but things changed when I volunteered to become the class representative for my cohort, FIS320. As one of the class representatives, I was given the opportunity to deliver the concerns of my cohort mates to the lecturers through the Foundation in Science Curriculum Assessment Committee Meeting (FCAC) held from time to time. This is one of the ways for IMU to always take the effort to improve their services and provide the best learning experience for their students.

IMU focuses on instilling self-directed learning in their students as it will help them in their journey to become a healthcare professional. Self- directed learning has allowed me to explore various learning methods which helped me understand a topic better and score well in my tests. In addition to that, the mentor-mentee system in IMU’s Foundation in Science programme has helped many students to cope with their struggles. Sharing a personal anecdote, I was very lucky to have gotten one of my FIS lecturers, Mr Liow Chee Keong as my mentor. Mr Liow would usually have meetings with his mentees to check on their progress and motivate them to do better in each semester. The lecturers in the FIS programme are the most dedicated and caring individuals. They would go all out to make sure their students have fully understood a certain topic and would even take the time to answer their questions at any hour of the day. Every lecturer had their own way of teaching and they would successfully make each lecture interesting and exciting by sharing their personal experiences or the latest information on current affairs. FIS is a one-year programme which contains three semesters, each containing about 12 weeks. In these three semesters, crucial and heavy topics such as human biology, mathematics, chemistry and etc. are well-distributed, ensuring the students’ competency as a future healthcare professional while at the same time, study-life balance is assured. The long hours and packed schedules were enervating at first, but I slowly learned how to adapt and manage my time better which I believe will help me in my undergraduate studies.

Maintaining a Good Study-life Balance
Apart from that, I believe as a student it is important to maintain a good study-life balance and I am truly grateful for the vast opportunities available for students in IMU. FIS students are given the freedom to join various clubs and societies to meet students from other faculties and develop a sense of belonging to the university. It was a new experience for me during the IMU E-Recruitment Drive as it was held online but I still managed to gain an insight of each club or society. I was elected as the Public Relations Manager for the Eco Friends Club in IMU and was able to form new connections with the seniors as well. Besides that, there were many online activities held for the students to participate and showcase their talents during the pandemic. One of the activities held by IMU’s Student Services Hub was the Vaccination Awareness Video Competition and I decided to participate as I enjoyed editing videos. I managed to gain the most likes on Instagram for the video I created and bagged a cash prize of RM500.

With the support given, I was able to complete and pass my Foundation in Science with flying colours in August 2021. The very next step I was about to take was an exciting but worrying one at the same time as it was the moment that would determine my career path.

I’ve always dreamed of becoming a doctor and now it was the time to pursue my Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). I chose to do my MBBS degree at IMU as I would not have to worry about accommodating myself to the new environment and would be able to focus more on my degree.

Getting a Scholarship for my Undergraduate Studies in Medicine
I was determined to apply for a scholarship when progressing into my undergraduate programme to reduce the financial burden faced by my parents. So, I applied for the IMU-Pantai Gleneagles Scholarship and fortunately I was shortlisted for the interview process. After successfully completing my interview, I was awarded the IMU-Pantai Gleneagles Scholarship which aims to help students who have performed well in their academics and who are in need of financial assistance. I am truly grateful to the Financial Aid Unit of IMU Student Services Hub and the scholarship committee for selecting me as the recipient of this scholarship.

I deeply appreciate the kind thoughts and effort taken by IMU to ensure a wonderful learning experience for their students throughout their journey in IMU. Looking back at my FIS journey, it has been a memorable one and I wish to achieve more and make my parents proud in the future.

Written by Shahanapriyatinii a/p M Ganesan

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