international student in the UK
Ashwati Nair is a medical student at King’s College London. Source: Ashwati Nair

Medical students aren’t usually known for their dance moves, but King’s College London (KCL) student Ashwati Nair makes an Insta-worthy exception.

When the third-year MBBS Undergraduate Medicine isn’t studying microbiology or doing clinical postings, she loves to dance. Her Instagrams stories — find her at @ash_dancingmedic — show her boogieing in the woods, halls and at university dance competitions.

Hailing from India but growing up in Dubai, Ashwati found her calling early in life and is now pursuing her dream education in London. Learning how to be a doctor is tough but she does not allow this to limit her creativity or passion for the arts.

Read on as this future doctor shares how she juggles dance, sciences and living it up in the UK’s exciting capital:

international student in the UK

This future doctor is living it up as an international student in the UK. Source: Ashwati Nair

Tell us about yourself. Why did you choose to study abroad?

I have wanted to be a doctor since I was young and that interest has only grown over the years. Apart from medicine, I love dancing, reading, and singing! 

Firstly, college-level education opportunities in the field of medicine were limited in Dubai. This was the main reason I decided to study abroad. I also wanted to study abroad because it would give me a chance to become more independent as I had never stayed away from my family before. Having grown up in multiple countries, I was also much more open to the idea of moving elsewhere to attend university. 

Why did you choose to study in London? What do you like most about being an international student in the UK?

I chose to study in London for multiple reasons. It is filled with people from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures which made it seem easier to fit in. Besides that, there are amazing opportunities available for both education and employment, and it’s a gorgeous city with plenty of things to do and see!

My favourite thing about studying in London is the experience of living in the city itself. Since all the campuses and accommodations of my university are spread around London, I get to explore various different areas and try out new foods, pubs, and activities. 

What are you studying and why?

I’m studying medicine at KCL. I chose this programme because I want to eventually become a practising doctor in the UK National Health Service. I have also been drawn to the idea of becoming a doctor and being able to make even a small positive impact on someone else’s life. Plus, I’m a nerd for all things science!

Tell us about your most memorable time at King’s College London.

Some of my favourite times studying at KCL the past three years have been being able to dance on stage with the KCL Dance Society and taking histories from patients and writing in their notes during hospital placement. 

What is your top advice for those planning to become an international student in the UK?

My advice to those planning to study in the UK would be to try to plan ahead and set small short term goals for yourself.

The application process for university can be exhausting and overwhelming but breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts can make it seem less daunting! I would suggest keeping an open mind about what your university experience is going to look like.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things! I have been surprised by the things I have come to enjoy at university and have enriched my overall experience. 

What are your plans for the future?

I am going to do a Masters in Health and International Development at LSE next year and then focus on finishing the last two years of medicine and becoming a doctor. Having moved around so much, I like the idea of staying in one place and hope to continue to live and practice in London after graduating.

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