Shahad Alraban Dental Surgery MChD/BChD, Oral Science BSc student case study 2018

Shahad Alraban

After I have obtained a sponsorship from the ministry of higher education in Kuwait, I have already decided that the University of Leeds is my choice to do my bachelor degree. That is because of its excellent reputation internationally and one of the best universities in the UK for dentistry and many other majors.

Originally, I was accepted to do medicine but after I have done my own research and met few dentists and doctors. I realised that I want to be a dentist instead. That it is because dentistry is a very practical discipline, has a less stressful career and it is a very rewarding job, as you get to give patients their smile and confidence back.

The best thing about the programme is that we get to treat patients from an early stage. This has definitely boosted my confidence and strengthened my both communication and clinical skills. Another great aspect of the programme is that you get to work with students and tutors from different backgrounds. As an international student, that it is great because you get to learn about different cultures and you get the privilege to introduce your own country and culture to other people.

In general, the projects that we have been assigned to were challenging. These challenges have pushed me outside my comfort zone but it definitely helped me to know what I am capable of doing and what my interests are outside dentistry. For example, we were asked to do videos several times during my first and second years. I have enjoyed every moment while working on these projects and from that, I knew that I loved making videos and editing them.

The support provided by the school of dentistry in Leeds was outstanding. I had one-to-one sessions with DentStudy staff several times, these sessions were really helpful as they provided me with the academic support that I needed for writing essays and reports or even just getting an advice onto how to study effectively and manage my time. Also, the staff in the student education office are available all the time to answer any questions that we had. The tutors were really supportive, they always try their best to deliver the information in the simplest way possible. Also, they are very welcoming and encourage us to ask questions as well as pushing us to explore the materials that we needed to know and not to limit ourselves to the lecture handouts which has improved myself studying skills and research skills as well.

I'm planning to use the oral hygiene knowledge that I have learned to educate the Kuwaiti community and introduce the dental prevention concept instead of just treating oral diseases. Also, I want to change the stereotypes about dentistry in Kuwait as many people think that every dental experience has to be painful which resulted in many of them being anxious and refuse to go to the dentist. I will be using my knowledge and clinical skills on how to deal with anxious patients to change these stereotypes.

My plan is to go back to Kuwait and work for the ministry of health for few years so that I gain enough experience to make a decision on what I want to specialise in. My plan also is to get involved in voluntary dental trips and provide dental care for less fortunate countries.

Leeds is a student centred city. It has more than three universities that are located at the city centre. This made the transportation around the city easier. Also, Leeds offer so many entertainment facilities that students can enjoy but is not like the other big cities in the UK where there are lots of distractions that may prevent you from focusing on your studies. if you are looking for a city that combines between leisure and education then Leeds should be on your list.