12,464 Miles with Emirates

12,464 miles and 36 hours later this little girl from Vermont (the tiny state near Canada) has found herself in Perth. For the next four months, I’ll embark on one of the most soul-searching journeys there is- studying abroad.

A lot of you may not know me or what I do, so here is a little inside scoop. I’m a biochemistry major, pharmacology and nutritional food science minor, studying at The University of Vermont (UVM). UVM is a rowdy University nestled in the quaint city of Burlington, Vermont. Burly is absolutely breathtaking and full of genuine, down-to-earth, kind souls. It’s hard to get bored here, there is always something to tie dye, a new vegan recipe to try, a rally of sorts, or just a creeemee (fattier soft serve) to accompany you at sunset on Lake Champlain. However, being the sixth generation to grow up in the same town, I figure it was time to get away, about as far away as possible.

IMG_0464

Picking My Flight

I began searching for my flight four or five months before my departure, and although I wanted to get one of the cheapest flights possible, I also wanted to ensure that I had a smooth and safe trip as well.

Residing in Vermont blesses you with one of the most expensive international airports in the U.S.– BTV. Therefore, by simply getting your friends, family, or Megabus driver to take you a state or two away you can save hundreds of dollars. The cheapest airport I found to fly out of (round trip) the East Coast to Perth, Western Australia was Boston at $1200.  REMEMBER the cheapest is not always the best, it had a 17 hour layover in Qatar. A few hours later and I settled on Emirates with a seven hour layover in Dubai on the way there and a three hour layover on the way home for a whopping $1350– before traveler’s insurance.

Emirates-Logo.jpg

The Departure- Flight One

A six hour car rider later and I was in Boston to have one last dinner with my family until Christmas. Navigating the airport wasn’t hard, everyone was helpful enough and the halls were labeled. Security took about an hour to get through and the barista at Starbucks made a mean green tea frap in record time. However, all good things must come to an end. There was a problem with overbooking certain premium economy/ economy seats so not everyone got the seat they had originally paid for. Luckily, Emirates being the kind, sensible airline that they are upgraded all of those who had paid for premium economy (and lost their seat) to business and first class. YES, I got upgraded to FIRST CLASS for free, talk about the biggest blessing for a 13.5 hour flight. 

Emirates-Airlines-Airbus-A380

In Cabin Experience- Flight One

Hot towels. Scented hot towels. Then, a kit with a luxury sleeping mask, Bvlgari perfume, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, and other toiletries was passed my way. On top of that, a menu where I got to write what I wanted from my own personal chef WITH the option to request times to be woken up if I’m asleep, came through. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I had my own cubicle with a desk, lamp, TV, and bed? 

I wasn’t feeling too hot– I get really bad jet bloat– so, I decided to sleep for most of the flight and requested to be woken up for a scrumptious French Toast breakfast an hour before arrival. 

The French Toast was delicious, way better than I anything I was expecting to come from an airplane. The hostess was absolutely marvelous, always checking in on me asking if I needed anything, offering mimosas and more hot, scented towels. Unfortunately, whatever goes up, must come down and we began our descent. Bellies full and hands sanitized. 

Frenchtoast

The Layover

Seven hours is just too long for a layover. In my opinion, the perfect layover is 3-5 hours max. I arrived in Dubai at 19:00 and wasn’t scheduled to depart again until 02:00– what is there to do? I explored, walked around, ate an overpriced, subpar muffin, and tried to rest while clutching my personal belongings. Time crawled. 

The Departure- Flight Two

I’m sure your wondering if I’m the luckiest person alive, but sorry to burst your bubble. I’m not.  It was back to the peasant life of economy for me. One hot towel rather than endless, a mere toothbrush, prescribed meals, and bare minimum leg room was what I had to look forward to for the next 12 hours. That being said, I can’t complain about Emirates, the second flight was good for what I paid and I’m sure there are much worse stories about flying around the world. 

The Arrival

Legs wobbly, and not a single familiar face in sight, I touched down on the place I’ll call home for the next four months. Emirates was very quick with baggage retrieval; they managed to keep all of my things together and in one piece! 

perthnight

The Verdict

All in all I would give Emirates an 8.3/10 for my experience. Their customer service was impeccable, but I got to see how both sides live on an airplane and let me tell you money certainly talks. However, I would recommend Emirates to anyone who is looking to travel long distances and who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky like I did! 

Stay tuned for many more adventures in Perth! 

bedclass

-XO 

 

Advertisements

What does it mean to be pre-med?

Medical school is typically thought of as an unattainable facade that only the most brilliant and privileged can reach. However, in my experience that is not even close to the case. Medical school is not for the smart and privileged, it is for the passionate and dedicated. The people who are willing to put in extra work in order to make a difference in the lives of others.

Many people assume that medical school only requires an impeccable GPA. Unfortunately, being able to regurgitate facts in an exam will only get you so far. You have to show that you are a well rounded person, someone who can handle stress and all types of people. After all, you never know who is going to walk into your practice and what their circumstances might be.

book

Most medical schools require the following:

  • One year of general biology with lab
  • One year of general chemistry with lab
  • One year of organic chemistry with lab
  • One year of general physics with lab

Although it may not be required, I suggest taking the following in order to give you an outside edge:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology

 

 

Aside from academics, most medical schools will look for the following:

  • Shadowing medical professionals
  • Volunteer experience
  • Research experience
  • Leadership skills
  • Healthy habits
  • Mind broadening/life altering experiences

All in all, what ever you put in is what you’re going to get out, and not everyone’s path is the “standard” four year plan. There are many options; such as a 5+ year plan, post-baccalaureate programs, or vocational schools. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is a good thing to be different, and it is YOUR journey to success. You are human, you will make mistakes, but maintain desire and enjoy the hardships. The road to medical school is not a sunny interstate, it is a winding backroad that has black ice and unplowed spots in the depth of a frigid winter. That being said, it is important to remember that winter is not forever, spring and summer are always just around the bend.

med2

XO