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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, my name is Syma, and I've just joined up with this site, and I've found it incredibly helpful so far, especially in figuring out the entire process, which isn't as complicated as I thought it would be.

However, I haven't seen any threads on what student life is like, especially for a westerner, who is used to the North American life. All I can think about is what life will be like in the hostel, what kind of curfews and rules are imposed on females, and how the life is there. So for all you people attending med school in pakistan, how is it?
 

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The answer to how life is for a Westerner depends mostly on which city you're planning to go to study in. If you're in Islamabad life is great -- you can find almost everything here that you would back home and stuff is for the most part pretty modernized.

Shifa's girls hostels have a 10 PM curfew every night. The guys' hostels also have the same curfew however its almost never enforced. Gotta love the double standard. All of the hostels have a security guard and cook but the security guards for the guys' hostels don't really care where you go or when you come back. The girls hostel is basically on lockdown after 10 pm.

I personally find life to be really different from back home (California) but still awesome. Every place has its plus points and negative points but in terms of what Islamabad is like, its probably the cleanest, most civilized city in all of Pakistan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well, i guess its to be expected. Can the security guards be bribed? :p

What about the actual rooms? Do people get their own rooms, is there internet access, what kind of furniture is in there... can we decorate?
 

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I don't know much about hostels but I do know about food in Pakistan. Food is pretty cheap if your thinking that 1 dollar is 60 rupees. Almost every resturant has good pakistani food.(It is Pakistan after all) They have some good resturants in Islamabad which offer Italian food, Chinese etc. Papasallies in Islamabad is very good. ALso i remember there was a resturant called Arizona Grille couple of years ago, I dont know if they still have it or not. Pizza Hut does not taste like pizza in america. There is a McDonald's in Rawalpindi (which is right next to Islamabad). But their burgers are VERY dry for some reason. Other than that they have Subway and KFC which taste original. About internet access they have DSL here.(or internet cards which are cheap and slow). Basically Pakistan is not as bad people think. In the first couple of weeks when you come to Pakistan, you will be depressed and angry at yourself for coming to this dump, but then as time moves on you will start to enjoy it.
 

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Ultraspy....keep up the spirit man! you will find Pak much better place to stay for a while at least! thumbs up.
 

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If you have money life can be perfect in Pakistan!! Ummmm about girl hostels they are super strict like there's a list of people that can come and visit u such as family members u can't just leave when u feel like it. Basically life can be amazin in Pakistan just depends on how u structure ur life. I think lahore is an amazin place to live its full of life and majority of people there r pretty cool too..not like typical pakistanis...LAHORE IS THE BEST!!
 

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There is no such thing as life in pakistan as being perfect, everything is imperfect here that is the rule. If you go to a private medical institution like aga khan then you were very smart to get admission in the first place and it is the most modern medical school in the country even south asia, built at a cost if $80 million over 20 years ago, in todays money, well, thats enought to dwarf every medical institution in pakistan over the past 20 years combined, so you catch my drift. You will have a much easier time adjusting here as everyone there has been abroad, weirdo's usually dont get admission there so their pretty liberal as well.

Shifa is probably the 2nd best place for a foreigner to adjust to, modern, no cheap paindu people from villages going there ( i mean the locals have to pay as much as a foreigner does at other medical schools so its not cheap ) but if you havent seen other medical govt schools you will probably complain about it as being weird and so paki-ish like most of the current shifa students do who know no better.

If you are one of the many who enter into the govt med schools, first thing you do is find and locate other foreigners. Mostly their canadians who have been raised in a very supressed pakistani life style abroad and they look just like pakistanis and act and speak the same so you will have trouble finding them. Also, many pakistanis who get foreign seat admission these days get it because they have no marks taken off, they just have foreign passports from child hood but have completed their studies IN pakistan so there will be some of them maybe, they will flat out deny they are paying x thousands of dollars a year to go to the school. So, IF you are lucky, you will find another north american preson as normal as you are and just hope you both get through every year together as I find the more american you are, the less chance you have of making it all the way though.

Student life? Well, be prepared for 6 days a week total confusion for the first few months, the heat, the ugly facilities, the paint peeling off, the diarrhea, the not knowing what to do what to study thing as well as adjusting to the country. Student life doesnt exist, either your a "hostelite" or your a "day scholar". If you live in the hostel, for girls I guess its not as bad you might have your own room. They are more strict with females. Males they do whatever they want. If you are from USA you will take one look at a govt. hostel and run the other way so if you can stay with family or get your own place on rent, if you can manage your food, security bills etc then its better option, hostel would be a last option specially if you cant squat down every day and take cold showers and hear bollywood music blaring down the hallways all the time.

But, the good thing is if you stick it out, THINGS DO GET BETTER, you get used to it too. As far as being in a govt school, you'll notice 80% of the students come from an underprivledged background, their not middle class even if they have a $300 cell phone. These students might have even gone to urdu medium schools, and they have no past experience with foreigners whatsoever. They will stare at you initially, ask weird questions like if you have girlfriends in america, and the MOST common question you will get sick of hearing "WHY DID YOU COME TO PAKISTAN TO STUDY when everyone is going to usa" just say "I moved here, not for school though".

Its not that bad though not trying to discourage anyone, just helping you know what to expect. In my honest honest honest humble opinion if your a totally UMREEKAN Foreigner, try deadly hard to get into aga khan, baqai, or shifa. The studies are also less intense there (in my very honest opinion). Even if you have to take a year longer to get admitted, but if you end up in a govt college, dont sweat it.

Rawalpindi Medical College:
Pros:
Near Islamabad
Cons:
Girls are stuck up, very conservative atmosphere in the class room. But as time goes from first year to fifth year, you will notice hijbabs dissappear, they start wearing make up, they switch to jeans and high heals and more brighter clothes and are more open to talking to guys, not sure why this is. Our studies have showin its their last chance to find a guy before med school is over.

King Edward:
Pros:
Girls are friendly right from the get go I hear. Very liberal atmosphere as students who get admission here are usually brighter and from more modern families unlike other places which are villagers.
Cons:
Expensive for foreigners, much tougher studies.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thank you so much for all that information. definitely answered a lot of my questions.

at the moment, I really want to go to Shifa or Aga Khan I just hope I can get in. When do the school years start for the both of them?
 

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thank you so much for all that information. definitely answered a lot of my questions.

at the moment, I really want to go to Shifa or Aga Khan I just hope I can get in. When do the school years start for the both of them?
Aga Khan starts around the beginning of October and Shifa starts first week of January usually.
 

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thank you so much for all that information. definitely answered a lot of my questions.

at the moment, I really want to go to Shifa or Aga Khan I just hope I can get in. When do the school years start for the both of them?
I believe they start in January, most govt colleges start around there, aka november, december, janary or february somethin like that.

Read your blog a bit, just dont get the wrong impression, its not THAT bad. I mean, mosqito's the size of buttery flies and ****roaches that you try to jump on to kill and find their carrying you somewhere. BUT.. WE DO HAVE SOUR CREAM AND ONION CHIPS!
 

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Rawalpindi Medical College:
Pros:
Near Islamabad
Cons:
Girls are stuck up, very conservative atmosphere in the class room. But as time goes from first year to fifth year, you will notice hijbabs dissappear, they start wearing make up, they switch to jeans and high heals and more brighter clothes and are more open to talking to guys, not sure why this is. Our studies have showin its their last chance to find a guy before med school is over.

King Edward:
Pros:
Girls are friendly right from the get go I hear. Very liberal atmosphere as students who get admission here are usually brighter and from more modern families unlike other places which are villagers.
Cons:
Expensive for foreigners, much tougher studies.
its nice to know how girls contribute to ones decision making when it comes to med schools #roll
 

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its nice to know how girls contribute to ones decision making when it comes to med schools #roll
Who says it has anything to do with girls. Its trying to give people a general idea of the social environment which is a major factor a foreigner needs to consider when making their decision. Unless you want the Pakistani advice which is as follows.

"Why do you care which medical college you are admitted too? A college is a college"

Which basically means most people dont get in, be happy to get in wherever you go, and your just going to have to learn everything on your own anyway the admission part is just a formality.
 

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Is that a demand from our highly respected moderator or a kind request#growl
 

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I don't think maik7upurz meant to offend anyone -- just trying to give someone who's new to the situation an idea of what he's observed over the last few years here.

Things really are different and as much as a lot of us would like to ignore the double standard and gender inequality, it definitely does still exist in Pakistan.
 

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Who says it has anything to do with girls. Its trying to give people a general idea of the social environment which is a major factor a foreigner needs to consider when making their decision. Unless you want the Pakistani advice which is as follows.
please do forgive me..for some reason i thought a social environment consisted of more than the atitude girls hold...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well, I think he's being honest, thats a good thing... if I'm going to be living in a hostel it's important to know what the girls are like... i heard that there are a lot of kleptos though :( The question that comes to mind for me though, is what are the guys like? Complete perverts... or decent human beings? :p

Also, maik7upurz, you will not believe how relieved I am to hear that they've got sour cream n onion chips. I know its a horrible thing to think, but my impression of pakistan is basically of paindus... not a good thing, but I haven't been there for 13 years. Thanks for clearing up that misconception :)
 

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im only messin..its not a personal jab or anythin towards maik7upurz he is of course a very valued member of this forum :D..and shabib truss me pakistan has changed over the past 13 years..iv been conducting a personal longitudinal study and have found major changes....
 

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You'll find guys and girls to all be different in some ways and similar in others. We're all still human but at first you'll naturally find more in common and make closer friendships with others who have came from the US/Canada/UK and are going through the same thing you are.

I don't know about you, but I personally love going to a school where there's a lot of foreigners like Shifa just because it makes the transition so much easier. Not to say that you won't become friends with the local Pakistani students, because you will, but just having other people who know what its like to sit in Pakistan and drool over some American cuisine sometimes makes it easier. #rofl

P.S. Ix-nay on the aindu-pay -- its seen as a pretty serious insult. Thanks!
 

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Some guys are decent, but most of them have never talked to a girl so they will make excuses up like "can I borrow your notes to copy them" as a way to come up and talk to you, so you will find that most parties keep to their own in government schools. How should I put this... In private schools, you will find it comparble to the high school american environment in some way. In Govt schools, you will find it like Junior high school in El Salvador or something. I mean seriously most these students have been living with their families in some rural pakistan area their whole life they worked HARD to get admisison and now they just want to have fun, go wild in the hostels, stay up late at night, watch bollywood movies etc. I guess when the teacher turns around they go crazy screaming throwing spit wads. Even with the super strict teachers they can act like 10 year olds and you will not believe these are future doctors. Id say only by 5th year do they mature up a bit or get tired of acting so immature.
 
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