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Student Stories

Next step – University of Otago Medical School

Studying to be a doctor is a long and costly process. But thanks to a whopping $35,000 scholarship, ACG Strathallan’s Liam Nelson will graduate from Med School better off than most.

The recipient of a University of Otago Academic Excellence Scholarship, Liam will have his first year of study fully paid for, and he’ll receive $10,000 a year for his second and third years.

“Getting a scholarship offering that kind of money is surreal and I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to receive it,” says Liam.

“It is such a blessing and means I can now follow my dream to practice medicine without the financial constraints. I’m really excited for the opportunities this opens up for me.”

Liam hopes the scholarship will not only benefit him personally, but also the wider community.

“This is my springboard to helping people, making breakthroughs and revolutionising the way we think about medicine and the human body.”

Liam has set his sights on a career in medical laboratory science – an area that he has always been enthralled by.
“I want to be a surgeon because I find the human body and anatomy so fascinating. If I can use my passion to make a positive difference in people’s lives, then I can’t see a better career option.”

While med studies are renowned for the heavy workload, Liam is confident his years spent as an ACG Strathallan student will stand him in good stead.

“Compared to other schools I feel like being at ACG makes you realise the value of hard work and you learn that it pays off in the end. The school promotes a strong work ethic that sets students up for University and I think the Cambridge system with the exams at the end of the year is great preparation.”

Liam began his ACG studies as a Year 1 student and looks back on his 13 year journey at the school with joy and gratitude.
“I’ve had really amazing teachers who’ve been so supportive and approachable and have helped foster my interest and curiosity for my subjects. It’s really awesome to have that support base there.”

But it hasn’t all been nose to the grindstone. ACG’s challenging academic curriculum is complemented by a holistic learning programme that enables students to immerse themselves in a diverse range of activities.

“I really enjoyed the Leaders’ Camp we had this year and the School Balls have all been a blast. Another highlight has been my involvement with the Strathallan rugby team and making the final for our division this year for the first time in our school’s history.”

ACG’s core values of pride, respect and achievement resonate strongly with Liam, and their ripple effect will no doubt be felt for life.

“ACG has taught me that hard work beats natural talent and fortune favours the bold. I have learned to value education and the people around me, and to take every opportunity that comes knocking.”