Salwa is a second-year undergraduate student studying diagnostic radiography, who moved to London for university.
A little bit about me…
My name is Salwa and in the summer I completed my second year at City. I study diagnostic radiography and am now entering my final year. I grew up in Birmingham and moved to London for university.
“Growing up I knew I wanted to go to university, but I didn’t always have a set career path in mind.”
Taking a Gap
I felt it was important for me to take a gap year and try to utilise this time. So, I decided to work. I had the opportunity to work in healthcare as a clinical assistant. This led me to discovering diagnostic radiography which I will talk more about later on in this post.
During my gap year, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I can do at university. I had always planned to return to college and found that returning to college helped rekindle my passion for education. I realised I had missed it and I was fortunate to have a tutor who encouraged and supported myself and my classmates. This helped influence my decision to go to university.
I felt that university would be a great opportunity to grow and develop, both professionally and personally. A place to gain skills, become more independent, build yourself up and meet new people.
During college, I took park in a week-long enrichment programme at the University of Birmingham, where I lived on campus with other students. This experience was an invaluable insight to life at university. I felt that it helped me prepare for what to expect and played a role in my decision to go to university.
So, why Radiography?
During my gap year working in healthcare, I spent a lot of time in the medical imaging department. This is what ultimately led me to radiography (diagnostic imaging). I learnt a lot during my time there. The idea of working in public health appealed to me as I wanted to work in a role where I can help people and play a role in their treatment and care. I wanted to have a profession, so I did some research.
The fact that diagnostic imaging is crucial to all levels of public health really appealed to me. It’s always needed and I wanted to be a part of that. I felt that the best way to do this was to choose radiography as a degree. I also found during my research that there was a demand for radiographers to join the workforce, so that was a bonus.
I felt that studying radiography would provide a good foundation for further specialisms too. Once you qualify, you work in X-ray and have the potential to train in further specialist areas like CT and MRI – these are types of medical scans at hospitals.
I enjoyed Physics at college which helped reaffirm my choice as I knew there would be some Physics on the course.
I also liked the idea of doing something both practical and academic. I was aware of the balance between academic studies and clinical placement as I had done my research. Clinical placement is part of any NHS course, where you observe and practice (under supervision) in a hospital in order to qualify.
Why London and why City?
Initially, I did not plan to move away from home for university. However, after visiting City a few times, I felt that the experience was very welcoming and from a young age I was familiar with London as I would regularly visit. The location seemed ideal.
I also had the opportunity to attend a pre-induction day which again was a positive experience and I found it super informative. It genuinely made me look forward to starting my new course.
Whilst at college I had a part-time job in retail. I spoke to my manager about moving to London for my studies and my workplace were able to arrange a transfer for me. Knowing that I would be able to have a secure part-time job in London definitely made the move feel smoother and helped me feel more confident about my decision.
City felt like the perfect campus for me – not too small and not too big. I liked the diversity of the university and of London as a whole. I spent a lot of time researching and it just felt like the right place for me.
Take note from Salwa and do your research about different courses, placement opportunities, careers, and universities. You can find out more about: