Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Student Testimonials

Real life experiences from students in their own words.

Rachel NgeRachel Nge

Malaysia, Medicine

There is a reason why they say that RCSI is one of the best medical schools in the world. I could testify to that statement, for no expenses were spared in providing the students with top quality education. Our lecturers at RCSI are also our personal mentors, moulding us in every aspect into becoming excellent doctors. They have done far more than just educate and teach – they motivated and inspired me to strive for my passion and future.

RCSI also provides students with endless opportunities – imagine having surgical suturing and laparoscopic skills training in your very first year, and the chance to have dinner with Nobel Laureates in your second year. You can’t help but wonder, “What’s next?”

Contrary to popular beliefs, life as a medical student is anything but mundane. RCSI encourages us to work hard, but they also encourage us to let our hair down once in a while!

Events like International Night certainly prove that medical students of RCSI have more to offer than just smart brains!

Also, I love the fact how the student population of RCSI is so diverse. It doesn’t matter where you come from; we’re all like one big family here!

RCSI is certainly more than just a medical school - it has become my home

Jack Woods

Jack Woods

Ireland, Medicine

One thing that strikes me about RCSI is the breadth of opportunity for both academic and personal development. I feel that the style of teaching hasn’t just been about spoon-feeding but more about developing as an all-round professional. The teaching and administrative staff in RCSI encourages the idea of an RCSI community and it creates a great atmosphere of support among the students.

Student-led extracurricular aspects of RCSI have given me the chance to engage in and benefit from things like peer teaching, sports clubs which are both competitive and enjoyable and societies which run great events that are open to everyone. I even got to go and run the Boston marathon thanks to RCSI, it was an awesome experience!

Jocelyn BarberJocelyn Barber

Canada, Medicine

RCSI's student body consists of a diverse range of people from different cultures and religious backgrounds. At first, I was unsure how I was going to develop relationships with some of the people in my class, as I was so different to them. I underestimated how much two people can have in common, even when growing up on different sides of the world.

Above their friendship, I appreciate what my friends have taught me – a greater understanding of culture and a respect for those with different values.

Naude Du PlessisNaude Du Plessis

South Africa, Medicine

Although there is so much that I have gained from my experience at RCSI, I would say that being a part of the international student body here is on top of my list. Being a foreign student in another country can be challenging at times, but with a student body so diverse I found it easy to connect with other students who were also in a very similar position as myself, a foreigner. Before I knew it I was making friends from all over the world, which has given me the priceless opportunity to learn more about different cultures and attitudes that I may have never been exposed to.

I find that the culture and tradition of RCSI combined with the enthusiasm of our faculty and teaching staff creates a motivating and truly inspiring study environment filled with great opportunities. It has helped me develop both personally and academically.

Bairbre BoyleBairbre Boyle

Ireland, Pharmacy

I have really enjoyed my time studying Pharmacy here in RCSI. The course is very comprehensive, including laboratory work and practical sessions alongside the traditional lecture methods. Initially you are given a basic grounding in the scientific subjects and their relevance to the practice of Pharmacy.

As your time in college progresses the emphasis switches to preparation for practice as a Pharmacist. There are so many diverse career options upon graduating with this degree, which makes it an excellent qualification to have.

Of course, there is very much a social side to college, with numerous clubs and societies that you can become affiliated with. I was Treasurer of the Pharmacy Society whilst in 3rd year, and it was a brilliant experience. Due to the fact that the college is quite small, you are more likely to get to know other students in your course, along with students from Medicine and Physiotherapy - so your social circle is large and diverse, which makes for great nights out!

It is also a good way to make connections at this early stage, as these people will be our healthcare colleagues in a few years time! 

Karishma KuwelkerKarishma Kuwelker

Norway, Medicine

RCSI does not only provide a education of excellence in medicine, they encourage you to take yourself beyond pure academics through research, electives and leadership roles. You are provided with opportunities to develop your personality and social skills, through sports, music, charity, other extra curricular activities, and interacting and connecting with students from 60 different countries.

I came to RCSI 4 years ago by myself and from the very first day I felt right at home.

So far it has been a rewarding experience which I will cherish for life. If you value academics, ambition, diversity and a real good time, you should consider joining RCSI.

Sinead Cronin

Sinead Cronin

Ireland, Medicine

The past 5 years at RCSI have been the most formative and memorable of my life. To paraphrase, "It's been the best of times and the worst of times." The learning curve has been steep, there's been tears of joy and of sadness, but I know that the education has been top notch (and the craic has been mighty!) As I prepare to complete my final few months at RCSI, I know I will miss the institution and its people tremendously. When I look around at my classmates and think of how far we have come since our beginnings in the Anatomy Room in Stephen's Green five years ago, I know that we would not be the capable, competent and happy Class of 2011 had we studied anywhere else.

Would I do it all again? Absolutely!

Adanna Welch-PhillipsAdanna Welch-Phillips

Trinidad and Tobago, Medicine

I came to RCSI due to the fact I was sure that I wanted to pursue Medicine and Europe was my destination of choice. I knew a few other people who attended RCSI in the past so I did some research, applied and the rest is history. When I first arrived obviously culture shock ranging from the weather (I come from a Caribbean paradise) to suddenly being in charge of balancing my life between household chores, school and entertainment. However, I quickly grew to enjoy RCSI culture as well as the Irish culture.

I consider RCSI a small world globe within Dublin. We boast having one of the largest if not the largest international multicultural student bodies in Ireland. I believe this is the thing I appreciate the most outside of teaching, the diversity. You can learn so much about the world by just talking to an individual from that country; it's a mini encyclopedia at your grasp. All major religions are represented in the school but there is no religion under which the school stands, so you don't feel the pressure to conform to a specific religious value system, all are accepted.

Due to the fact that it is so diverse, the college accommodates for the variety in terms of opportunities for electives as well as exams which need to be completed depending on where you would like to practice after. There are tutors and lecturers willing to assist you with any issues you may have concerning school work, balance or family issues. Apart from the experienced teaching specifically in anatomy, the wide variety of societies and related college events makes it a completely balanced curriculum. That is of course once you take advantage of the opportunities. To have the best college experience you have to balance social events with college work. Most importantly to make this possible embrace the cultural experience because some of the best memories you make involves college and the people you meet. If you have any problems, talk to someone all people now entering are going through the same first time jitters, everyone finds their niche give it a little time.

Eoin KelleherEoin Kelleher

Ireland, Medicine

After making my way through the mountain of prospectuses and open days in my final year of school, I chose RCSI as my first choice for studying medicine. What attracted me to the college was the quality of education, the community feel, and the international mix of students. Since then I have found all of that to be true. There is such wide scope for getting involved in college life and medicine in RCSI. I have had the opportunity to take part in debating, research projects and social events. Thanks to the college support, we also have an excellent Student Medical Journal which I have the opportunity to edit this year.

I consider RCSI a small world globe within Dublin. We boast having one of the largest if not the largest international multicultural student bodies in Ireland. I believe this is the thing I appreciate the most outside of teaching, the diversity. You can learn so much about the world by just talking to an individual from that country; it's a mini encyclopedia at your grasp. All major religions are represented in the school but there is no religion under which the school stands, so you don't feel the pressure to conform to a specific religious value system, all are accepted.

Most importantly are the friends I have made here. Being around the same people in class and hospital means that you really get to know one another, and support one another. And with people from all over the world in your class, you can meet people and visit places you may not otherwise know.

Sarah AlnafiseeSarah Alnafisee

Saudi Arabia, Medicine

As a young Saudi student embarking on one of the most testing of degrees; one of medicine, I arrived in Dublin with a sense of trepidation. This was at once dispelled upon my first visit to the student's services office. Greeted by Ms Sandra Bonetto, my fears turned into absolute relief. Her enthusiasm was infectious and her desire to get me settled into the RCSI way of life instilled me with immediate confidence. To begin my learning experience in such an uplifting way was beyond my expectation. During my progression over the last three years it has become readily apparent that the dedication of the faculty staff and their levels of experience and erudite expertise are of an exceptional standard. Teachers and consultants conduct themselves not only to reflect what is required by the students of the RCSI but ultimately what is required of all doctors within and outside the confines of the college. They, along with the support staff, have set an exceptionally high standard and one that we as students should aspire to reach and transcend. I feel privileged and honoured to be part of such a wonderful and inspiring college and one that I will always recommend to any individual who wishes to enroll in an institution of such high, moral, academic and professional standards as that to be found at RCSI.

Daniel Mac ManusDaniel Mac Manus

Ireland, Medicine

Starting medicine at a world class university steeped in a 200 year old history, in the heart of Dublin city was daunting. But with the help of inspiring professors and brilliant friends from medicine to pharmacy as well as physiotherapy the feeling soon passed. I felt immediately welcome and at home. RCSI is an extraordinary busy place with plenty of activities to get involved in, whatever your interests may be. Although academics are a priority at the university there are also plenty of extra-curricular opportunities available. I have played new sports like fencing and horse polo, performed on stage in major Dublin venues, conducted breast cancer research and travelled to RCSI Bahrain on the exchange programme. Absorbing another culture in a new learning environment was a truly amazing experience that I will never forget. RCSI has offered me opportunities beyond what I ever could have imagined.

I really appreciate studying at a university with the lineage of RCSI. The endeavour and achievement of RCSI graduates in decades and centuries past has established a legacy of excellence that you feel a part of when walking through the college. Placards of great surgeons and medical pioneers adorn the walls in the anatomy room and their statues watch over you in the corridors. The realisation that you are walking in the steps of esteemed doctors and professors that were once in your place before you creates a special sense of purpose and belonging in the college.

The medicine course at RCSI is challenging but it is made manageable by the lecturer's passion and enthusiasm for teaching. The personal interaction with the professors and tutors helps a lot as well. You are inspired to achieve your potential and motivated to study and not just be taught. We also learn in equal measure from fellow students. Everyone is there to help one another and there isn't the overly competitive atmosphere that exists in other colleges. The diverse and multicultural nature of the student body definitely plays a role in this harmony. We learn a fresh global perspective from each other and I have certainly gained a greater understanding of new cultures and a respect for those with different values. My friends are from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds and hail from cities, suburbs, small towns and villages all over the world. I can genuinely say that no matter what country I decided to visit, I will have friends there. That is something truly unique in Ireland.

In RCSI I have made life-long friends who have taught me so much about the world and have helped me develop personally and professionally. The character and personality of the Royal College of Surgeons becomes part of you. I have grown to love studying at RCSI and I hope you will come to enjoy this place as much as I do.

Luke ReillyLuke Reilly

Ireland, Medicine

To be honest, I was initially quite apprehensive about coming to RCSI. It had been the first choice on my CAO since I first filled it out during my Leaving Cert year but when the hullabaloo of results day finally settled and the college allocations began to trickle out, I gradually realised that I was the only person I knew heading to RCSI. All my other friends were off in groups to UCD, Trinity and DCU and I was left to fend myself in a completely new environment unlike anything I had experienced before.

All those fears dissipated as soon as I took my place in the RCSI O'Flanagan Lecture Hall and struck up conversation with the person sitting next to me. Within minutes I knew that I was surrounded by people who shared a similar vision and passion and that there was one common pursuit that linked everyone in the room: the vocation of helping others. Since then it's been a social, academic and cultural whirlwind and I wouldn't trade a single minute of it.

Hadeel AljazzafHadeel Aljazzaf

Kuwait & Scotland

I'm originally from Kuwait, however I grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. I moved to Ireland to pursue a career in medicine, and picked RCSI as my first choice. My experience at RCSI has been a phenomenal one so far, I'm in fourth med now and feel as though RCSI has helped shape me both as a future doctor and as a person. I've met friends here from all across the world with thanks to the truly multicultural environment RCSI offers. There's no such thing as a ‘majority/minority' student body, there's a mix of all different types of students from all different backgrounds, something which I love about RCSI. Another thing I love is the clinical teaching provided to us which is at a truly high standard. It's not just a matter of giving us our degree here, it's about giving us the tools to manage and secure our future as doctors.

Shane CarrShane Carr

Ireland, Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM)

Since becoming a student at RCSI the most enjoyable aspect of the GEM course has been the diversity of nationalities and educational backgrounds of students I have met since starting. It has been a fantastic education in itself and it is definitely something that makes RCSI such a great place to study. Regarding the course itself, the level of clinical experience we receive from an early stage has been invaluable and it is definitely something that is unique to the RCSI graduate programme, being assigned clinical attachments since our second semester of first year has been great in terms of developing as a prospective doctor. The course structure and quality of teaching provided in RCSI is super and I consider myself to be quite lucky to be studying in such a great environment.

Maeve McCarthyMaeve McCarthy

Ireland, Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM)

When I made the decision to go on to study medicine as a graduate RCSI quickly became my top choice of medical school. I was impressed with their passion for teaching and for medicine, as well as their welcoming, supportive and approachable attitude. I haven't been disappointed - the quality and organisation of the teaching I have received thus far has been exceptional. Social (and future travel opportunities!) abound with such an international student body and having the chance to study with people from all walks of life has really enriched the experience of medicine for me. Going back to study medicine was one of the best things I have ever done. I have had so many amazing experiences and have made some really great friends who have taught me about so much more than just medicine. I'd strongly advocate anyone who's considering studying medicine to go for it! You'll have the chance to study something that's fascinating, rewarding and humbling, that has wide and varied future career prospects, and you'll get to meet so many great people from all around the globe.

Sami BackleySami Backley

USA & Saudi Arabia, Medicine

I was born in California and after five years, moved to Saudi Arabia where I attended an American school. My journey through RCSI thus far has been a phenomenal one and it has molded me in more ways than I could ever imagine. One of the most astonishing aspects of RCSI is the great diversity and multiculturalism of the students; I can honestly say that I have a true friend in every continent of the world. RCSI provides more than just an education from a book; the professors are very dedicated and the hands-on experience is outstanding in the hopes of making every student the best that he or she can possibly be as a Healthcare Professional. I must also mention that what we learn from each other due to our unique heritages is an education on its own.

Joanna PeartJoanna Peart

Ireland, Medicine

I am a mature student in my third year here at RCSI. I am from Ireland though I worked for many years in London, first training as a Chartered Accountant before working in strategy. Many factors have made RCSI the right choice for me: its multinational profile which had become a normal culture for me in London; the commitment of the university to mature and graduate entry which is reflected in a substantial cohort (both Irish and international students); the early exposure and emphasis on research and its international research reputation; the standard of its lecturers; its focus on medicine and healthcare.

The RCSI Clubs and Societies programmes are generously funded and are an excellent way to meet students from different years which can be lifesaving when exams approach and access to experience is so important as well the fun of participating in your favourite interests with others (e.g the Gourmet Society and the Society of Neuroscience).

I would recommend RCSI to anyone looking for well structured medical degree in a supportive university

Rory KellyRory Kelly

Ireland, RCSI physiotherapy graduate

“I received my qualification as a physiotherapist in 2010, and I can safely say that my time in RCSI has shaped my career path in the short time since then. The skills and training I received enabled me to make the change over into working in private practice, as well as with a number of sports teams along the way, while also making the transition to working abroad as easy as possible.

The physiotherapy degree in RCSI provides a great foundation for working both in the hospital and private set up. Practical groups are small, encouraging detailed and attentive learning. Clinical experience was varied and well organised, providing valuable experience in a variety of settings. As well as this, the size of the college generates a very social, community feeling, with a huge variety of clubs and societies available.

The college was also highly supportive and accommodating in helping me in my application for registration in Australia, where a BSc in Physiotherapy from RCSI is currently recognized as equivalent to an Australian degree. Overall, my time in RCSI was invaluable. I had some great experiences and made a lot of friends along the way, and the training I received gave me a fantastic foundation for working as a ‘physio’.“

Jean LewisJean Lewis

Ireland, RCSI physiotherapy graduate

“As a postgraduate returning to study Physiotherapy, the prospect of three more years of exams was somewhat daunting. However, RCSI has consistently exceeded my expectations. The small class size immediately fostered a sense of comradery and community amongst the young and not so young! The faculty are highly skilled and educated and provided us with a strong support network both educationally and personally. Since graduating, RCSI has readily facilitated my application process to work as a physiotherapist in Canada where I’m currently discovering the challenges and rewards of this exciting career in private practice.”

Ananda BabineauAnanda Babineau

USA, RCSI physiotherapy graduate

“I was a young American looking to attend a comprehensive physiotherapy program. I also wanted the opportunity to have a life altering adventure. RCSI filled both of my requirements. Life as a foreign student at RCSI is filled with not only a strong education but also plunges one into a new vibrant cultural hub. RCSI is over flowing with eager young minds from all corners of the earth and chooses to celebrate and support all of our differences with beautiful cultural sensitivity and opportunity for us all to educate and share our culture with one another.

Upon graduating I had not only earned a strong competitive degree but gained globally scattered lifelong friends. One of my favourite components of the RCSI physiotherapy program is the clinical rotations which are divided all over Ireland. This gives the students an ability to learn in many different settings and hospitals and thus prepares one for a multitude of working environments and patient populations. It also provides a fantastic way to live and work all over the beautiful country of Ireland.

RCSI prepared me to open my own business in Kuwait only a year after graduating and has continued to prove unbelievably comprehensive. When I moved back to the United States I experienced no trouble with having my degree fully approved by the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) and had no problems passing my National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) on my first attempt.“