Jorge Ivan Castillo Quan
Jorge Ivan Castillo Quan is an MSc Clinical Neuroscience student, at the Institute of Neurology, on a Shell Centenary Scholarship and the Abbey Master’s Scholarship.
“I chose UCL’s Institute of Neurology to do my MSc because UCL is a top-ranking university, and has a great prestige in the neuroscience field (just the best in the U.K. and Europe...!). The Institute of Neurology (ION) is considered “La Mecca” of neurological clinical practice and research; therefore it is the place to be. Now that I am based at Queen Square I have been able to experience the deserved prestige of both, The Institute of Neurology (ION) and the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery (NHNN). The lectures have been great with an expert presenting what I call a mini-conference for each lecture, for me it has been as good as going to an International Scientific Meeting every day. Basic neurosciences as well as clinical topics are covered so that when completing the MSc, we have a broad spectrum of what is Neuroscience. Even more, there are so many things to do at Queen Square everyday that it is kind of overwhelming. A part from the curricular lectures there are departmental lectures, or hospital rounds to attend so that every day is full with exciting things to do and learn. Queen Square is just a few blocks away from the main campus at Gower Street, so if you are still eager for knowledge, social and cultural activities just a 10 minutes’ walk separates you from more excitement.
Living in London has been easier than I thought it would be. I am living at UCL’s Ifor Evans Hall in Camden and although I thought it was a bit far from Queen Square and Gower Street at first, the bus system is really practical and the Camden Town tube station is very close, so there is no excuse for not getting around London whenever there is some free time. Plus, Camden Town is just around the corner with a lot of places to visit like the Regent’s Canal, the Camden Markets and a lot cafes and clubs.
I am having a great experience here at UCL where I have met really interesting people from around the world. Now I can say that I have friends from Greece, Kuwait, Belgium, UK, Cyprus, Nigeria, India and a lot of different places around the world. Here at Ifor I have met people from China, USA, France, Germany, Dubai and also some Mexicans. UCL is truly London’s Global University as a multicultural and international atmosphere surrounds UCL. Research always benefits from different perspectives and bringing together not only different geographical locations but also cultural backgrounds, points of view and knowledge is what makes UCL a top university. I was really amazed to realize that more than 50% of my class was not British, and just from the accents and names of the professors the international atmosphere increases exponentially. And if this is not international enough just walk through the streets surrounding UCL, that will give you a sense of the multicultural nature of UCL and London.
This excellent experience could have not been possible without the sponsorship from the two scholarships I was awarded, the UCL Shell Centenary Scholarship and the UCL Abbey Master’s Scholarship, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them both and also the UCL Scholarship Office that was in great part responsible for this amazing opportunity. I truly appreciate it!
In summary, I am very happy and excited to be here at UCL because the university has proven to be even more than I was expecting and I really had some serious expectations. Some friends have asked me about my experience at UCL as they are also interested but were having second thoughts, the following is what I have said in response: ‘do not even hesitate, just fill in the application and send it immediately, you won’t regret it, believe me!’”