Ellen Chai Voon Kah, 20, from Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia, is a BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography student at QMU.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

“I wanted to do an undergraduate degree in the UK, as it has a global reputation for quality assured education. I’m also more accustomed to the UK style of teaching as I previously completed the Cambridge GCE Advanced Level programme.

“I’ve always admired Edinburgh for its rich history and culture, being home to multi-cultural communities and people from all walks of life. I felt that I’d appreciate being in a city that was so diverse as it reminds me of my home country, Malaysia, which is also well-known for its diverse ethnicities and cultures.”

What are your highlights of living and studying in Edinburgh?

“I came to Edinburgh towards the end of the Fringe Festival and managed to catch quite a few shows. I had my first ceilidh during Freshers’ Week and immediately fell in love with it – I’ve attended nine ceilidhs this semester, which says a lot.

“On the weekends I enjoy going to Edinburgh city as it has so much to offer. I particularly like going to different museums and my favourite has to be the National Museum of Scotland.”

Are there any hidden ‘gems’ in Edinburgh you’d like to share with other QMU students?

“The Cammo Estate is definitely my little haven. It’s a great place to go for a walk for a break from the glow of a computer screen. The Japanese Garden at Lauriston Castle is my personal favourite place to go and is definitely worth a visit! There is also a nature reserve right outside the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, which a friend happened to stumble upon and recommend to me.”

Where have you lived whilst studying at QMU?

“For the first year of university, I decided to stay in student accommodation on the QMU campus for convenience purposes. I thoroughly enjoy every part of it. Living in halls which is a short walk away from the main academic building definitely stops me from worrying about being trapped in the morning commute.

“I also appreciate that the halls are in close proximity to the train station and a bus stop is directly on campus, making travelling a lot easier.

“I’m fortunate enough to be staying in a flat with people that come from different countries, offering me an insight into their culture and lifestyle. I look forward to spending time with them every day, sharing laughs and meals as they really do make me feel at home.”

Why did you choose to study BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography at QMU?

“This may sound cliché but ever since high school, I’ve developed a deep interest and passion for medicine and healthcare. It was towards the end of my college education that I was introduced to radiography, which is not a popular degree back in Malaysia.

“I felt that radiography was more in line with what I wanted in a career, as well as the lifestyle it brings. Radiography is a fast-moving and continually changing profession. It combines science, technology and patient care and is at the heart of modern healthcare. 

 “I was researching for universities in the UK that offer diagnostic radiography as an undergraduate course but was concerned as most universities have massive class sizes, which I didn’t think would suit me. I opted for Queen Margaret University as the class size for diagnostic radiography are more friendly and supportive, which offers a conducive environment for me to develop close-knit relationships with my lecturers and course mates.

“I appreciate that the course is spread over four years, offering a detailed course structure and clinical placement experiences.”

What have been the highlights of the course and your time at QMU so far?

“During my first semester, I had classes in the X-ray room, which I had the opportunity to learn about X-ray equipment, the principle behind x-ray projections and how to operate x-ray equipment to produce radiographs. The knowledge and the hands-on skills combined would come very useful when I go onto clinical placement in my second semester.

“I’m currently a class representative and I involve myself in the academic aspect of my course by attending frequent academic council meetings, which aim to enhance the overall student experience in my course.

“I also help out as a Student Ambassador for Open Days and campus tours. Perhaps in my next semester, I would venture into getting a part-time job, hopefully, related to healthcare.”

What are your top tips for future BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography students based on your own personal experiences?

“Be disciplined and manage your time properly as there is a lot to learn about diagnostic radiography.

“Aside from lectures, seminar and workshops, a huge part of the learning process is actually self-directed. It’s always good to engage in group discussions and be open to new learning opportunities.

“QMU provides great support in terms of learning and I’ve found the Learning Resources Centre especially helpful for students where English is not their first language.

“Lecturers are very supportive and are constantly available to offer help and guidance in their best efforts, so do not be afraid to ask questions.”

What are your plans after graduating from QMU?

“After graduation from this course, I plan to look for local job opportunities to gain more work experience, and would probably pursue a postgraduate degree after gaining work experience as a radiographer.”


"I opted for Queen Margaret University as the class size for diagnostic radiography are more friendly and supportive, which offers a conducive environment for me to develop close-knit relationships with my lecturers and course mates."
Ellen Chai Voon Kah

Story Published 2017 -2018