An interview with four first-year students at the University of Pavia

Camila Archela from Brazil, course: medicine in English
Elena mitsulova from Bulgaria, course: biotechnology in Italian
Raz Friedman from Israel, course: medicine in English
Shay Davidovich from Israel, course: medicine in English

Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, and why did you choose to come to Pavia?

Camilla (Brazil) My name is Camilla. I’m 20 years old, I’m Brazilian, and I chose Pavia because it was a smaller city than Milan. I was debating between Milan and Pavia, but Pavia is cheaper, more quiet, and I feel like I could focus on my studies.

Elena (Bulgaria) I’m Elena, currently 19 years old, and I’m from Bulgaria. I chose Pavia because I just love it! I cannot think of anything else, I simply love it! It’s amazing!. You can feel very comfortable in this city, it’s very cozy, people have their own pace, and nobody’s in a rush.

Raz (Israel) My name is Raz, I’m from Israel and I’m 26 years old. First of all, I chose Pavia because I searched for a place in which I could study medicine in English, and then I found the website medschool.it. This website changed everything for me, and I fell in love with Pavia. The city looked amazing and one year ago I decided to visit. I met some great people from all around the city; they showed me around, and as I expected, the atmosphere was amazing, and I felt like was home.

Shay (Israel) My name is Shay. I’m 22 years old, and from Israel. I chose Pavia because it has a great university, always in the top of the ranking. In addition, I searched for a place that would be cheaper than Milan (since Milan is also on the top of the ranking, and I considered it as well).

Why did you choose to study medicine?

Camilla I wanted to study medicine because I’m so curious about the human body. I’m amazed by everything it can do and I’ve always wanted to learn more about it. In addition, I want to save lives!

Elena For me, it’s not just about the medicine…it’s about the surgery! I find it fascinating. I also want to do something challenging, to overcome my limits every day. I like the rush and the thrill of being a surgeon, and everything that comes with it, including the great responsibility on one’s shoulders.

Raz In my opinion, the human body is the greatest machine ever created!. Also, just as Elena said, I find surgery an incredible occupation. I wouldn’t like to sit in my office all day long. I’m really looking for an active occupation, and I rest assured that I will be pleased with that decision for the rest of my life.

Shay I chose to study medicine because I’d like to make a difference, make an impact, and change something for the better in this world! Saving lives is the best way I can imagine to do so.

What can you tell me about the entrance test (IMAT), and how did you prepare?

Camilla I continued with ‘cursingo’, something found only in Brazil, for two years, so that I could keep on learning the relevant subjects. In addition, I bought, in August (three months ago), the Alpha Test preparation books. I answered all of the questions in these books, and I practiced with past exams, which I timed.

Elena I started to study a year ago, but not in high intensity. My concentrated work was over the summer! I did all the BMAT past papers, which were a very high level. I found the Alpha Test books not as helpful as I expected, since they weren’t as detailed as the real test. On the day of the test I got really nervous, and now I feel like I could have definitely done better.

Raz I studied for five months, but my high intensity preparation was in the last two to three months. I studied from BMAT books as well, and from MCAT books (the US admission test). I found that the BMAT test is really similar in  structure and content to the IMAT test that I took. During the IMAT test I struggled with the logical part. The questions were very long, and they were written in very technical language.

To sum it up, can you give some tips for future candidates?

Camilla Don’t rely only on one subject when you prepare for the test. It is very important to study everything: biology, chemistry, math, physics and verbal reasoning as well! In my opinion, the logical questions in the IMAT this year were absolutely impossible. I wanted to do them all, but I just couldn’t. Instead, I started with math and physics, which I’m strong at, and from there I moved on to chemistry and biology.


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