Hometown: Lusaka, Zambia

Year of Course: 4


About You

I am originally from a country in southern Africa called Zambia, a far cry from Scotland! I chose to study in Edinburgh as I came here in the summer of 2010 for my older sister’s graduation and fell in love with the city! So I was very excited when I applied for Speech and Language therapy and got accepted into QMU. Not only would I be studying at one of the best universities for the course, I’d be doing it in such a beautiful place.

I chose to study Speech and Language Therapy as there is a huge need for health professionals in Zambia. There are no available degrees at the local universities and after looking into what speech and language therapy was,I decided it was something that would not only benefit my country, but it would also be a great fit to my personality. I had the option of studying anywhere in the world and settled on QMU mainly because I wanted to study in Edinburgh but it was also highly ranked in my degree.

Living Away from Home

Living away from home was hard the first few months; I didn’t realise how much I had depended on my mum! But it is great once you get the hang of being on your own and depending on yourself. Living in the city with my friends mean I am never short of laughs or shoulders to lean on in times of need. The three things I wouldn’t be without are:

  1. My hot water bottle (it’s freezing and heating is expensive!)
  2. A never ending supply of tea or hot chocolate
  3. My favourite book - it’s always a big comfort when you are a little home sick

Living in Edinburgh is amazing - make the most of it! Go on walks without knowing where you are going, go into all the cool little cafes and most of all appreciate how beautiful it is - it never fails to take my breath away, even on the rainiest of days. Moving away from home was a very hard thing to do, especially as I moved so far away and there was a huge culture shock but I made good friends who gave me top tips on how to adapt to living in a cold place!


"The highlight of my course so far has no doubt been the placements I’ve been on. The different exposure to a range of clients has provided me with an insight into the health system, the different service users and the positive impact I will potentially have on individuals."
Zahra Sheikh

The Course

I also got to travel all over Edinburgh and close cities (although it is pretty miserable waking up super early in the middle of winter) and see different parts of Scotland/Edinburgh that I maybe wouldn’t have had I not had a placement there.

To potential students: it will all eventually make sense, stick with it! In the beginning you seem to be all over the place learning all sorts of stuff that don’t seem speech related but they are and it will all come together eventually!

After graduating I’m hoping to pursue master’s in Audiology.

Life as a Student at QMU

QMU is a small university so it’s easy to make friends and see each other often enough - I have enjoyed bumping into people throughout the day in between classes and stopping for a chat. I am also a part of the Snow Sports society and have really enjoyed spending time with the group, going out and doing social activities. Looking forward to this year’s trip to the Alps! Top Tip: Everyone is just as shy as you - be confident and talk to people, by the time fourth year comes around you’ll be wishing you hadn’t wasted so much time being shy!


Story published 2016 - 2017