Astynnia’s Second Year (International) Blog

Hello everyone!

In my last post, I talked about how busy my academic schedule was with my Research Skills Module (RSM) and Dissertation. Since I am done with them now, I can assure you guys that RSM online assessments are actually not as daunting as many would perceive. Basically, us Biomedical Sciences students were introduced to 4 different clinical sciences specialism in 4 weeks – Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Pathology and Clinical Haematology. By the end of the week, we were required to complete an online assessment either in the form of short answer questions, a summary of a scientific article or methods and results writing. As long as you have a good understanding of the experiments and follow the assessment guidelines, you’re likely to do well! The assessments are worth 50% of the module, so it is important to ask the practical supervisor if you are having any problems understanding the topic. There’s no need to feel shy about this though because they are always more than willing to help you!

As for my dissertation, titled “Gut Microbiome and the Health of Colon” my supervisor gave me two articles as starter references. It took me a little while to get my head around these as nothing is easy when you are doing it for the first time. However, the more you read, the easier it is to understand what you need to include in the 9-page literature review. An easy trick is to always refer to the reference list in the starter references provided as they will provide you with other related scientific articles. And voila! Your reading list is sorted :). It is important for you to properly understand the content within your dissertation because you have to present your dissertation topic to your academic tutor and tutorial group members!

Before parting away for Easter holiday, my best buddy and I had a delicious Korean meal at Seoul Kimchi on Upper Brook Street. It seems like we found another one of Manchester hidden gems! If you are craving or would like to try authentic Korean food, this place is the right place to go to!

Kimchi stew with rice and beef bibimbap. Side dishes anchovies, kimchi (fermented cabbage) and pickles.

Kimchi stew with rice and beef bibimbap. Side dishes anchovies, kimchi (fermented cabbage) and pickles.

However our 3-weeks of Easter break is now at an end. I am currently still doing the modifications works for my RSM lab report. In the coming two weeks, there will be spot tests for Immunology and Parasitology and they are worth 10% each for the modules. I’m a little nervous for these as have found it hard to fit in revision this Easter holidays. That’s because I spent 12 days of the holiday in Norway and Iceland! I’m really making the most of being able to travel around and see as much of Europe as I can while I am over here for my studies away from Malaysia.

The best way to experience Norway is from above. Naturally, that involves a lot of hiking and battling with steep cliffs. However, you will get postcard views of stunning fjords (pulpit rocks) and that is the time when nature makes you feel like a tiny ant in a gigantic world. Iceland was equally as enjoyable with magical cinematic landscapes to leave you in awe. I was able to witness aurora borealis (also known as the northern lights) dancing above my head in Reyjkavik, which was absolutely wonderful. I also visited Seljalandsfoss waterfall.


I would say that it has been a productive semester for me with the right balance between work and play. As much as I wanted the holiday to last, I am looking forward to finishing my 2nd year as well, which means I am only 2 months away to be back home. 🙂

First day back at university after 3-weeks of Easter holidays celebrated with a McDonalds catch up lunch break!

First day back at university after 3-weeks of Easter holidays celebrated with a McDonalds catch up lunch break!


Astynnia x

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