Made in UMF. Student life at UMF Tirgu Mures
Numărul candidaților străini care aplică la programele de studiu în limba engleză de la Medicină şi Medicină Dentară din cadrul UMF Tîrgu Mureș crește de la un an la altul. În anul 2017, s-au înscris la UMF Tîrgu Mureș 450 de candidați străini, cu 186 mai mulți decât în anul 2016, când au fost înregistrate 264 de aplicații și de peste 4 ori mai mulți față de anul 2013, când au fost înscriși 110 candidați. Candidații care aleg să studieze la UMF Tîrgu Mureș vin din toate colțurile lumii: Germania, Italia, Ungaria, Austria, Suedia, Finlanda, Norvegia, SUA, Israel, India, America de Sud, precum și din țări de pe continentul african. Frederik Laier, student în anul III, povestește despre experiența numită UMFTGM.
Going from a foreign country to Romania for some weeks might already be interesting for a lot of people in my home country. However, leaving the country to move to Romania in order to study the science of medicine for six years is beyond interesting, it becomes life-changing, especially in Targu Mures and in the English section. Being a foreign student gives you the great opportunity to observe things from an outside perspective, things that already might seem normal to locals. When I am asked at home what is special about the city and university I study at, I always name three main aspects: diversity, a unique culture of hospitality and the vast possibilities of participation.
Diversity is a term I thought I already knew what it meant before I arrived at our university, but the past two years at UMF have taught me better. I needed my time to realize in how many diverse microcosms a student in the English section is included in fact. The first microcosm is our English section itself. It almost certainly forms the most varicolored one at our university. Here, one can find a huge potpourri of different cultures, views, ethnicities, religions, experiences and personal backgrounds – each one already interesting enough to fill pages with. But this manifold section is only the part of another even more diverse microcosm which is our university and its campus. Made up of three different sections, filled with students from all over the country and again, different cultural backgrounds. Finally, to complete the full picture, our university is then part of this multiethnic city of Targu Mures. This is what makes studying in Targu Mures utterly special and unique. On one hand we have the chance to get to know Romania and its beautiful culture and landscape. On the other hand there is the opportunity to get to know a lot of other cultures within the section itself. Although this multidiverse environment might become overwhelming and challenging sometimes, it is a once in a lifetime experience and it represents a learning process, which undoubtedly aids forming the characters of future doctors to be. Mutual respect, patience, tolerance and understanding are values teached on a theoretical base in all medical schools around the world, but in Targu Mures these values are not only exercised theoretically but practically everyday on our campus, in the hospitals and lecture rooms.
Studying in English section at UMF also means a lot of language work for us, besides studying medicine – we learn Romanian. Most of us students do not speak Romanian when we start studying at UMF, but this is one of the moments when the special and beautiful culture of the Transylvanian people kicks in. Everybody is greatly supporting and ready to help whenever possible, even if this means to communicate with hands and feet at the beginning. It then is an even bigger delight and motivation to see a face lighten up, when you try to speak Romanian with patients in the hospital for the first time. For us foreign students, this special open-minded culture and hospitality of the Romanian and especially Transylvanian people is tremendously important. Let me give you a small example: in many other countries or regions it does not happen as a matter of course that a patient, who is already anxious because of his health state, will allow a student to examine him, being aware that this student is a foreigner and not yet fluent in the Romanian language. Luckily, the patients in Targu Mures put their confidence in us foreign students everyday and we are more than thankful for this trust and opportunity. Also, it is a joy to experience the everyday enthusiasm of Romanians to share a part of their culture with us – no matter if it is the Hora dance, Zacuscă or Țuică.
Joining a university in a foreign country naturally makes you comparing things to what you are used to from home. Before I came to Targu Mures I thought of universities as huge institutions of anonymity where students are not more than simple numbers. Again, luckily, I was proven wrong in Targu Mures. What locals might not see, because they are so used to it, is the close relationship between professors and students at our university and the vast amount of opportunities to participate in the academic life. I realized, that if you follow one golden rule as a student, which is to be proactive and never stop asking, you will probably not be let down. Instead, there is a huge chance that by participating and getting involved, the university and its people will embrace your enthusiasm and can become like a second home. Now, being a student in a foreign country far away from your family, this feeling might be one of the most important assets of our university culture.
Autor: Frederik Laier