Experiences of a Foreign Dental Student in Pakistan

Experiences of a Foreign Dental Student in Pakistan Web DN

Becoming a dental surgeon was not as easy and straightforward as I had hoped it to be when I first enrolled into Fatima Jinnah Dental College (FJDC). This was especially true for someone who flew all the way to Pakistan sacrificing, the comfort of her own home and norms.  Adapting to the frequent power outages for living independently were one of the few things which taught me immense resilience and made me into the woman I am today. Pampered and invulnerable under the wings of my parents, I was bound to undergo awfully difficult times.

One of the most difficult trials was adjusting to the new culture. The immense competition was also something I wasn’t used to. There were a lot of challenges  to endure and it took me a year or two of utmost effort and patience to make it through.

Five years ago, I was naive and scared, with no way of knowing how to adjust to this new way of life. Socializing and dealing with classmates with completely different values from me, in addition to being incapable of even constructing a proper sentence in Urdu was the greatest challenge I faced.

However, with God’s grace, I was very lucky to meet some of the most amazing people as companions. Being an alien and my clumsy attempts to master the Urdu language were very comical to my peers in a positive way. However, with their kindhearted guidance, I managed to promptly adjust to my new life.

Today, I hold a degree from the prestigious Fatima Jinnah Dental College. My graduation day was very emotional and it made me look at the experience that I can only describe as a roller coaster ride. There were ups and downs in the academic endeavors. Tears and laughs, Friendships and betrayals. There were stresses of deadlines and the anticipations of hangouts.  I would cry to go back home to my family then eagerly wait for my return to my new friends.

It is difficult to see clearly when you are facing tough times.  However, right now, in this moment, I am grateful for all the hurdles that I had to face. I am now more eager and enthusiastic of taking up greater challenges that life will throw at me.

The trick to life is to always look at the bigger picture and knowing that everything that you go through is part of a vast purpose which is meant to bring out the best in you. That is how you survive and come out braver and stronger than you ever thought was even possible. Bad times always pass, in the end everyone manages to live to happily tell their tales, labelling them as mere experiences.

Finally, armed with this degree in my right hand and the experiences in my left, the anticipated countdown of my return has begun. Returning back to where I came from and funnily enough, I will undoubtedly miss Karachi. I will miss this vibrant city for all the memories it has blessed me with, to bear for the rest of my life.  After all, it’s the little things that make life an adventure.

Thank you, Pakistan for making me stronger than I was five years ago and thank you FJDC for bringing out the best of talents within me as a medical professional. And, thank you again for teaching me that anything is possible if you’ve got enough courage and nerves.

September 2, 2014

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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