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Why Choose Queen’s

My Experience of Queen's and Belfast as a Nigerian Student

Hi, I’m Timothy! I am a second-year medical student at Queen’s and have really enjoyed my first year here. Here are some of my experiences and useful tips for moving to Belfast and studying at Queen’s!

The Lanyon Building, facade of Queen's University Belfast

Why did you choose Queen’s to study Medicine?

Queen’s had always been a main contender when I was choosing where to study. My parents had studied here and hearing their stories about the university and their university life definitely made me fonder of it. However, it wasn’t these discussions that pushed me to choose Queen’s, but instead their medical facilities, student support and location (amongst other benefits) available to students that made the decision very easy for me.

Although there are many great universities in the UK, what makes Queen’s stand out is their world class teaching (with lecturers and specialists from all over the world, with a range of experience and perspectives that are useful to us as students). For our case overviews in medicine, we had working specialists come in to summarise our cases, offering their perspective and applying skills to real life situations - this helped us to not only assimilate what we were taught, but to learn how it would be applied in a hospital setting.

Medicine class

Experience world-class teaching at Queen's

In addition to this, I love the opportunity Queen’s gives their students to travel as a part of their course. I have always enjoyed having the freedom to travel and experience different cultures, and I was able to see many students actively engaging in these experiences via the Queen’s iEngage programme, allowing students to travel as far as Tanzania for their electives.

Since I have started at Queen's, I have only enjoyed and valued my time here. From the many societies and clubs, events, and beautiful city of Belfast - I have only positive things to say.

My experience of living in Belfast

Belfast is a very beautiful city and I have really enjoyed living here. Overall, the people here are very welcoming and friendly, with a warm smile and helpful directions if you should get lost in the city centre. One thing I always say is that if you plan to move here, it’s important that you get familiar with the colloquialisms and slangs used every day. If someone says you’re ‘dead on’, it’s not them trying to break the unfortunate news of a passing, but instead it’s them saying that you have a good personality. Though confusing at times, it’s most surely a culture I’m glad to have experienced.

In addition to this, I have found that Belfast is actually a very scenic city, with many ambient locations to see. From the Giant’s Causeway to the Titanic Quarter, to the beautiful Botanic Gardens right next to the Queen’s campus - you will never be lost for places to visit. The city centre is also very lively, with many restaurants and social events for you to get involved in and meet new people. One of my favourite things to do is to go down to the St. George’s Market every Friday and get some local goods and nice food to get my weekend off to a good start.

St Georges Market

Take a trip to St. George's Market at the weekend!

For many, it can be very daunting to move somewhere new, especially if you can no longer enjoy the things you used to in your home country. However, because of how diverse Belfast is, there are many different cultural supermarkets and stores to purchase home goods and feel a ‘sense of home, away from home’. Furthermore, Queen’s have many clubs and societies e.g., the ACS society, Filipino society etc. for you to join and meet up with people from the same background to further connect to home.

African-Caribbean Society – aims and events

The ACS (African-Caribbean Society) is one of the many societies Queen’s has to offer its students, and prides itself in being a centre for students from African-Caribbean backgrounds to meet new people, engage in events, and get support with the transition into Belfast life. I have really enjoyed being a part of it and the events have been a great opportunity to make friends and build networks in the start of university life. Some of these events include: the End of Year BBQ to finish exams, our annual Y2k party in November and Winter celebration.

In the run up to the start of term, we will be having our Meet and Greet in late September/early October, to bring new freshers into the society whilst playing some games and having some fun. Queen’s also have an ACMS (African-Caribbean Medical Society), for those studying medicine. This had helped me to get a bit more specific and specialised support when studying medicine, with events such as the WoMED X ACMS annual webinar (that discusses women and BAME workers treatment and roles within the NHS) and the mock OSCE in March, in preparation for medical finals.

ACS (African-Caribbean Society) 2024 Committee

The ACS 2023/23 Committee (Instagram page)

Starting pre-clinical studies can be difficult, especially with the move from high school examination to university level expectations, but societies such as the ACMS and Scrubs, have really helped me adjust into university life and settle in within my course.

If you are thinking of joining any societies or clubs, please check out the upcoming Freshers fair in late September or visit the Queen’s Students’ Union website or Instagram page, you’ll definitely be able to find something suited to you.

Find out more

African-Caribbean Society

African-Caribbean Medical Society

Queen's welcome and orientation

Timothy Agbonkpolor

Medicine| Undergraduate Student | Nigeria

Hi, my name is Timothy and I’m a medical student at Queen’s. I am originally from Nigeria and coming to Queen’s has given me the opportunity to meet a variety of people from different backgrounds, but also the opportunity to still engage and familiarize myself with people from my own culture as well.

Timothy Agbonkpolor