Hi Afterbreak Readers
My name is Vitore Kaonjua. I’m 20 years old and a first year medical student at the University Of Namibia School Of Medicine (Hage Geingob Campus).
I’ve wanted to be a medical doctor for as long as I can remember, but of course I went through phases where other career options sparked my interest namely; Forensic Science, Criminal Law and Film. However, it always came back to medicine. I understood from very early on in my life that doctors had unique challenges which affect them physically, mentally and emotionally. I had to make sure that I was up for these challenges and in order to get a glimpse into the normal day to day of doctor, I shadowed Dr Laubscher, a general practitioner based in Otjiwarongo for two weeks. I had the most incredible time watching and learning from him so after that experience I was sure. I proceeded to make sure that I made the necessary grades in order to get into a good medical school. I completed my high school education at the Windhoek International School where I attained my International Baccalaureate Diploma, a high school qualification recognized globally, so naturally I was expected to apply abroad, which I did. There were rejections as well as acceptances. I also applied to the UNAM School of Medicine, this I considered to be my safe option. I was wrong. The institution rejected application as well as my appeal. I settled for a BSc in Applied Biochemistry (Honours) Biomedical still at the UNAM School of Medicine. The international medical schools were expensive and this would be free because my father was a faculty member. I reapplied the following year and eventually received my acceptance letter and as they say,
the rest is history.
HGG Campus offers multiple degree and diploma programs including, Medicine, Pharmacy, Occupational therapy and Physiotherapy. These are just the undergraduate programs. I will however focus on the fee structure for Medicine (MBCHB). Studying medicine at HGGC will cost N31000-N$67000; the fees increase as you progress from your first to your final year.
Medical school is expensive you’re probably going to have to consider applying for financial aid. The university itself does not provide any scholarships, however if your parent(s) are faculty staff, the institution covers your tuition fees ONLY. You have to cover your own practical costs as well as the registration fee of N$2000 (may increase) and 20% of your tuition (N$5000 or so).
The Namibian Students Financial Assistance Fund is another option. It’s a government fund that caters to students studying in high priority fields such as medicine. There is more information on their website.
The Social Security Commission and Old Mutual also provide. Try to get as much funding as possible. Every little bit counts.
Students studying at HGGC are welcome to seek accommodation at the hostels provided by any of the central campuses namely Main campus, Khomasdal Campus, HGG Campus as well as Emona (a private hostel that caters to all students). Hostel accommodation costs range between N$ 25000-N$28000 per annum. Also, there a multiple private residences in Windhoek North and Khomasdal that provide accommodation to student. The cost of these vary greatly depending on the facilities and whether or not you’re sharing. Sharing is much cheaper than a single room as you can split the rent. Our campus’ hostel does not provide any meals but there is a tuck shop on site. All hostel applications are to be completed online.
You need to meet the following requirements in order to be admitted to the MBChB programme:
- 35 points on the UNAM scale with at least a grade B in English OR 37 points on the UNAM scale with at least a grade C in English;
- A score of “2” or better on higher level in Mathematics and Physical Sciences (or a 2 in Mathematics and a 3 in Physical Sciences)(or a 2in Physical Science and a 3 in Mathematics) OR a grade B or better on Ordinary Level for Mathematics and Physical Sciences;
- Grade B or better on Ordinary Level for Biology /Life Sciences; OR
- To apply for the MBChB degree, a candidate must have successfully completed the entire first year BSc curriculum and must have passed in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics modules with an aggregate of at least 60% (Not for school leavers. This is for students who didn’t meet the requirements with Matric and did one year of Science or maybe didn’t get in because of inadequate space); OR
- To apply for the MBChB degree, candidate must have successfully completed a relevant and applicable qualification from a recognised higher institution
- Mature Age Entry Scheme:
- Grade 12 and should pass all papers with 60% average.
- At least 25 years old.
- At least five years relevant work experience.
PROS AND CONS
- Location of campus
HGG Campus is located between the Windhoek Central Hospital and the Katutura Hospital, therefore we’re exposed to the clinical environment very early on due to the convenience provided by our location. The Windhoek Central campus especially is a walkable distance from campus.
Our laboratories and lecture halls are state of the art. The environment is extremely conducive to our learning. One can study in the library, the anatomy museum or the cafeteria when it’s quiet. There are also tables in the halls that can be used when needed. The auditorium is also a good place to get some studying done and discuss group projects.
- Smaller student body compared to other central campuses
A smaller student body allows students to get more time with lecturers and there is more freedom to have discussions during the lecture. Also we form real relationships with our classmates and thus create support systems which we are so incredibly necessary in a course this challenging.
- Dress Code
As health care professionals we have to dress very neatly, formally and professionally. Fashion is a means of non verbal expression and our respective styles are unique. However, when on campus, clinics and hospitals, you are required to dress more formally. So that means, no ripped jeans, tank tops, short skirts or dresses, neatly cut hair for boys and many more guidelines that we must follow. The rules are little bit more relaxed for first years but as you progress, the way that you present yourself becomes increasingly important.
HGGC is wonderful, everyone is so friendly and helpful. The MBChB is 12 Semesters long (6 years) and you’re allowed a maximum of 8 years to complete the programme. The course is definitely challenging and requires hard work and dedication but it’s also so exciting because the learning is so hands on. Our learning is very interactive and there’s never a dull moment. So if you’re passionate about medicine and are willing to put in the work HGGC may just be the perfect fit for you. The campus offers many more degree and diploma programmes as previously mentioned so if this particular degree is a bit much but you’d still like to be in health care, visit the UNAM website and look for us under the faculty of Health Sciences.
Connect with Vitore:
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