Hello! My name is Kristina Vavura, and I am a 3rd year Dietetics student at Robert Gordon University. Read more to learn about why I chose to study at RGU and about my experience of moving to Scotland.
Choosing RGU to study Dietetics
Originally, I am from Bulgaria. I moved to Scotland to pursue a Dietetics degree at RGU and become a qualified practitioner.Kristina Vavura, third-year Dietetics student at RGU
I have always been interested in science, but I didn’t realise it until I had to apply for my undergraduate studies. Nutrition has played a huge role in my personal life. I had a health issue related to eating in high school. For this reason, I read a lot of books to learn about properly nourishing my body. Eventually, I fell in love with the science behind nutrition.
Since dietetics is mainly focused on this, I began searching for universities that had a dietetics degree. RGU got my attention because they offered a four-year Master’s degree in Dietetics. The course seemed like a perfect combination of theory and practice to give me the skills to become a good practitioner.
Dietetics course experience
In first year, we had to take science-based modules such as Human Physiology, Biomolecular Science and Microbiology. It gave us the chance to understand the working mechanisms of the body. Additionally, we studied social sciences such as International Food and Culture, Psychology and Sociology and Clinical Skills that taught us how to approach each patient’s case individually and base our intervention accordingly. Laboratory workshops, tutorials and seminars helped me prepare myself for future work placements as a registered dietitian.
I would say that the MDiet course is hard. There is definitely a lot of studying involved. But I am sure that it will all be worth it in the end.Kristina Vavura, third-year Dietetics student at RGU
My two favourite things about the course are the science-based modules and the volunteer patients exercise. The modules show me how important it is to learn how the body works and what external and internal influences rule our health status. This was vital to understanding nutrition and its power over the human body. Working with the volunteer patients is the scariest thing I have had to do, as I had to meet patients face-to-face and assess their nutritional status. On a positive side, this experience gave me the confidence I needed to be a registered dietitian. It helped me reflect on my practice.
As social creatures, we all need to relax and spend time with friends. Last academic year, I joined the boxing society and was also the Vice President of the Bulgarian Society. Joining different kind of societies at the RGU:Union and participating in extracurricular activities is a perfect way to meet new people who have the same interests as you.
Student life after COVID-19
It was very unfortunate that we had to terminate our social activities due to the pandemic. I went back home to Bulgaria and we all started with online lectures, which at first, was really hard because I was so used to face-to-face classes.
Online learning because of COVID-19 has definitely been one of the hardest parts of my university experience. I loved making social connections on-campus. I loved having conversations with my lecturers and classmates. But I am deprived of it because of the current situation. On the bright side, it showed me that we can all learn and thrive even during such difficult times.Kristina Vavura, third-year Dietetics student at RGU
Things are getting better, I am getting used to this new way of learning. I really hope that my placement takes place soon, because I want to put everything I have learnt so far into practice.
Advice to past self and hopes for the future
After my graduation, I expect to work as a registered dietitian. Through my university experience so far, I have realised that I love the feeling of helping people. It is very exciting and heart-warming to see a person who has gotten better because of one’s medical expertise. Moreover, I want to further specialise in sports nutrition and work with enthusiastic people just like myself. It would be a competitive and motivational environment to work in and I cannot wait.
If I had a chance to meet my first-year self, I would reassure her that everything would be worth it at the end and that she should just keep pushing even though it may seem hard sometimes. Moreover, I would advise her to go out a bit more and meet new people while she can, because socialising, from time to time, is an amazing way to take the pressure off.