Biomedical Sciences

Jana Finzgar (Biomedical Sciences (Medical Biology) Hons)

In the first of our International student profiles, Jana Finzgar tells us about haggis, how to beat culture shock, and Edinburgh funk.

Jumping students
Jana's favourite photograph: jumping with friends on Calton Hill.

Why did you choose Edinburgh?

I visited Scotland and stopped in Edinburgh with my parents when I was twelve years old. I found the whole of Scotland a magical and beautiful place. It reminded me a lot of home, just greener.

I also really enjoyed Edinburgh as a city. It had a feeling of an old and dignified place but with a funky and vibrant atmosphere. When I was choosing where to apply, Edinburgh was one of my top choices. And not just because of the city; the University has a great reputation and the programme sounded really interesting and different from other universities.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten in Edinburgh?

I really like haggis and if you don’t think about how it is made it becomes quite normal. But the strangest food must be the deep fried mars bar and tablet. Though I did find them very delicious.

Tell us about culture shock. What does it mean, and how do you beat it?

There is no one recipe for how to deal with it. I just attacked it head on and went to as many events and met as many people as possible. The worst was pronouncing street names when asking for directions or talking to the cab driver. Despite the stereotypes and how Scottish people are sometimes portrayed in movies, I found them to be lovely and always willing to help. I was not really aware of any University schemes. I am one of those people who do not prepare in advance or read leaflets. But over the years I have been introduced to many schemes and I wish I knew about these in first year. I would probably have come across them if I had read the University website or done a bit more research.

What's next for your studies?

I would really like to continue studying and do a postgraduate degree. I think studying at the University of Edinburgh will be a great stepping stone as I feel I got a great education here, and a base to build on.

Have you joined any University groups?

I have joined a few sports clubs (rowing, tennis etc.) which I have been attending more or LESS frequently. I have also done some theatre and have been involved in EUYSRA. Next year I will be on the committee for our Biomedical Sciences Peer Support group, Academic Families.

Tell us about your happiest memory in Edinburgh

All of the best memories from Edinburgh involve sun, picnics and the friends I have met at University. Edinburgh doesn’t get much sun but when it does it is one of the most beautiful places. As there are many green areas in the city it is not hard to find a spot for a BBQ and some hang-out time with your friends; and of course playing tag rugby and rounders.

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