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Undergraduate study

Our students

Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew participated in the Study Abroad programme to gain more experience in physiotherapy, his placement was in hospitals in India.

Andrew Wilkinson

BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

How did you find out about the Study Abroad programme?

One of our lecturers mentioned it to us and asked if anyone would be interested in any potential shadowing or work experience abroad. Once people had shown an initial interest there was a group meeting to find out more information, what would be required of us, and which country we would be visiting.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

I’m not particularly a lover of spicy food, and Indian food can be spicy so I found it a little tough adjusting to that. Obviously there are western takeaways but I tried to embrace the food and give it a go.

Did you have the opportunity to socialise, and if so, what social activities did you engage in?

We went to some restaurants in Chandigarh with our hosts, who also welcomed us into their home for a traditional Indian meal. They also took us to the India and Pakistan border to witness the opening and closing of the gate which was a great experience. We also went to see the Golden Temple at Amritsar which was unbelievable.

We also had the opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal and a day of touring Delhi whilst staying in Delhi, which the Teesside University India Regional Office arranged for us.

While we were in India, the India Regional Office team had lunch with us to check that we were all having a good experience and to assist if there was anything we needed.

Why did you choose to Study Abroad and what did you hope to gain from the experience?

I chose to take part in Study Abroad to gain more experience within the physiotherapy field, as this is my chosen field of study and the area of work I would like to go into after I graduate.

I also hoped that it would enhance my experience and make me an attractive prospect on university applications and interest those, who if I was fortunate to get an interview with, would question me about in interview.

Did you have any reservations before travelling?

Absolutely none whatsoever. I was excited about the trip and very much looked forward to it. Also, it was somewhere I didn’t think I’d get the chance to visit in other circumstances, so I was keen to go.

What was your accommodation like?

For the first two weeks we stayed in the hospital at Chandigarh, where traveling doctors and nurses stay when working at the hospital, it was great! We spent the two weeks in Delhi and arranged our own accommodation, which was just over the road from the hospital we were working at in Medanta, and that was great also.

Would you recommend Study Abroad to other students, if so, why?

Absolutely 100%. If you have the time and opportunity to go, I highly recommend it. It was an unbelievable experience in an unbelievable country. You’ll get to meet some fantastic people, some of which I still keep in contact with and always ask how I am and are interested in what I am doing now.

What were your first impressions when you arrived (in India)?

The heat. You can be warned and attempt to fully prepare yourself for it but there are no words to describe the feeling of initially leaving the air-conditioned airport and getting the wave of heat and humidity, it just takes your breath away. Also the noise can take a little while to get used to, for example, car horns going off constantly.

What did you enjoy most about the experience?

The people! They couldn’t do more for you - they were very hospitable and looked after us very well. Anything we needed or wanted they were only a message away and very keen to help us out.

What career do you hope to enter when you graduate and how do you think the experience will assist you in your future career?

I will be continuing my studies in a MSc Physiotherapy. I gained additional experience in other departments, such as intensive care units, which I wouldn’t get the chance to do in the UK.

I think it made my postgraduate application stand out from the rest. I was able to demonstrate that I was willing to challenge myself and learn, and work in a challenging environment.

I gained lifelong skills on the Study Abroad placement, both in the work that I do and in my communication skills. This has enabled me to grow in confidence.