Валентин Слесаренко, Саратов

I’ve been travelling by myself since I was 12-years old so being away from home isn’t too daunting for me. I started studying biomedical science in Oklahoma but it’s very different there where you have to study a whole year of history and it takes so long before you study what you’re there for, which is why I decided to come here. Plus the weather is better on the Gold Coast, I can’t believe it is winter right now. In Russia where I lived it would get down to -25 degrees Celsius, but in the coldest parts of Russia it gets as low as -30.

We learnt English through school but it was my trips to England and France which helped my language skills, even though they only speak it a tiny bit in France. In the USA I stayed on campus but here I’m living with a homestay family in Tugun which is really nice. I’ve been walking to campus mostly, until I can get my licence. This is the first year the three-year biomedical science course has been offered to international students, so I think there will be more and more students travelling here to study.

I want to also complete my Masters and become a general surgeon. All my family are doctors including my mum and dad and grandparents on both sides. I like the idea of following them in that. I’ve spent eight years helping in hospitals. I would go to my father’s work and could watch the surgeries and the last two years I worked in operations, as an assistant, passing things to the surgeons.

The education here is better to ensure I get more opportunities as a surgeon and also to network here. I am looking forward to placement. I’ve already applied for jobs here and left resumes as I would like all the experience I can get as a surgical assistant.

I love sports and used to play volleyball at the school championships in Russia. I haven’t surfed yet but I’ve tried paddle boarding, and while the first time wasn’t easy I’m slowly getting better.

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