Student Name: Leron Porges

Course: MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Pre-Registration)

Hometown/Country: Canada

Year of Course: Year 1

Leron is from Canada and is currently studying towards an MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Pre-Registration) at Queen Margaret University (QMU). She is one of the recipients of the prestigious Saltire Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students from the USA, Canada, China, Japan, Pakistan and India. Saltire Scholars act as cultural ambassadors, not only for higher education in Scotland but also for the country itself.

We caught up with Leron to find out more about her time at QMU so far.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh?

I’ve always aspired to study in Scotland as I have only ever heard positive things about the remarkable education, the rich history, and the fascinating and unique culture here. I also have a strong passion for travelling, so studying abroad at a highly regarded institution was a dream that I could not pass up. While studying in Scotland, I have taken advantage of every moment; I’ve spent time exploring the city of Edinburgh, indulging in delicious food, and listening to Scotsmen playing the bagpipes!

Why did you choose to study at QMU and what attracted you to the course?

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the nature of human communication. Having a keen interest in both linguistics and healthcare, I decided to embark on the path to becoming a speech and language therapist so that I can provide others with the tools for expression, connection, and meaningful engagement.

I chose to study at Queen Margaret University because of the speech and language therapy degree programme on offer, which gives students hands-on opportunities to study under trained speech and language therapists in a variety of different clinical settings. In addition to developing strong practical skills, the course also provides students with a well-versed understanding of the theories of speech and language therapy.

What have you most enjoyed about your course (so far)?

The part I enjoy most about the course is hearing about the lecturers and other students’ previous experiences, while engaging in meaningful discussion and then applying it to relevant research. I also took part in a non-clinical placement at a nursery, where I observed typical development in 3 and 4-year-old children. This experience was very informative, and I plan to apply this knowledge to my upcoming clinical placements. I am also the class representative for my year group. It is my role to raise important issues, share common concerns of my classmates, and report this feedback to the committee. I am honoured to take on this role and support my student group. Overall, I believe that the comprehensive and immersive speech and language therapy course at Queen Margaret University will provide me with the tools and knowledge necessary to become an exceptional speech-language pathologist.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

My advice to students would be to ask questions, participate in class discussions, and try not to panic. There is a very supportive learning environment at QMU, and the lecturers are always available to help. There is also a PAT (Personal Academic Tutor) system, in which students get the best advice about dealing with academic and personal issues that may be affecting their studies. Lastly, it is also essential to go and explore all of Scotland’s astonishing attributes.

Have you won any awards/scholarship/internships that have helped you develop skills and experience? If so, please tell us about them.

My role as a Saltire Scholar has enhanced my interpersonal and communication skills, which I have utilised by promoting my time and experience in Scotland. This scholarship has also allowed me to build connections across networks, meet new people from around the world and - most importantly - endorse all of Scotland’s astonishing characteristics to an international audience. For instance, I created an Instagram account @aweescotland, where I have been sharing captivating, breathtaking photos of my adventures.

"I chose to study at Queen Margaret University because of the degree programme on offer, which gives students hands-on opportunities to study under trained speech and language therapists in a variety of different clinical settings."
Leron Porges, MSc Speech and Language Therapy

What are your plans after graduation? Tell us about your ambitions and where you see yourself in the future?

In the future, I hope to work as a speech and language therapist and continue to be an advocate for the exceptional programme offered by Queen Margaret University. It still feels surreal that I am here and training for the profession I have always wanted to do. It is so exciting to think that in just two years, I will be doing my dream job.

[Published December 2019]