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Novella Wu, MSc Health, Exercise and Nutrition, Indonesia

Novella Thursday 3 May 2012

Breaking new records, Novella is Hope's first student from Indonesia

From Medan in the province of North Sumatra, Novella trained as a medic at University of Sumatera Utara. Her next step in her home country would be to pursue a specialisation. Her scientific curiosity, her interest in nutrition and her love of Liverpool brought her to Liverpool Hope University where she is studying MSc Health, Exercise and Nutrition.

Liverpool Hope University is not the most well-known UK university. It is smaller than many other institutions and situated outside the city centre in the leafy part of South Liverpool, so it is often overshadowed by the more famous University of Liverpool and the well-known ex-polytechnic Liverpool John Moores University. But by the power of the internet Novella found Liverpool Hope and exactly what she was looking for.

Novella said: "For me, choosing Liverpool Hope was really easy. I knew I wanted to go to the UK and I knew Liverpool. I am a huge Liverpool FC fan, I love the Beatles, and in Indonesia my English language teacher was a Scouser, so Liverpool has always been part of me. I searched online under Liverpool Masters Nutrition which took me to Liverpool Hope's MSc Health, Exercise and Nutrition. When I looked through the modules it was the perfect postgraduate programme for me."

"There is a trend towards public health programmes but that is not what I wanted as they often concentrate too much on policy formulation and promotion. As a medic I am more interested in the science side and how nutrition and exercise and connected to health. The mix of modules on Hope's MSc provided just that."

For Novella, her biggest challenge was the new style of learning that a Masters education in England demands. There is a whole new discipline to academia that is very different from the approach in South East Asia.

Novella said: "You should not underestimate how demanding a Masters can be. Even though I have been through five years of medical training, postgraduate education in the UK can be tough and it is important to understand what is required of you as soon as possible."

"Back home, your lecturers tell you the 'truth' and you have to follow it. It is not in our culture to be critical of professors so you are not encouraged to be. In the UK it is the opposite. You have to be critical and analytical. It is only by continually questioning ideas that you gain a better understanding and can give your own theories backed-up with research. My assignments have not only been exams, but also presentations, essays, and I am just beginning my research dissertation.

The research dissertation is the biggest part of the Masters and it is where all the academic skills we have been learning need to be pulled together. But the good thing is that you are preparing from the first day. The MSc also includes a placement so that the students get the opportunity for some practical experience within a health setting. Novella is working with an alcohol awareness group. Whilst this may not be a hot health topic in her home country of Indonesia, it gives you the opportunity to consider how to apply the principles that you learn into different situations.

"We have a module called Applied Research in Health, Exercise and Nutrition, that we started in the first term. Initially I thought this was strange, since the dissertation is the final part of the course. However, now I am half way through the course it makes sense. Gaining those research skills are paramount to success."

"The lecturers are really first class. The quality of teaching is excellent. When I have discussed my classes with some of my previous colleagues, and with friends at other universities, they sound amazed and want to borrow my lecturer notes.

Whilst Liverpool Hope is not famous in Indonesia, Novella is a pioneer being the first Indonesian student and she is over the moon with her decision.

"In Indonesia we are quite spoilt and have many people to help us with everything. We have tight family units and are more dependent on our parents. It follows that most students in Indonesia who want to study abroad will use an educational consultant to do the work for them. This didn't work for me. I applied direct to Liverpool Hope University. I can not praise enough the support I got through the admissions process. Fiona in Admissions helped me with every question, including helping me with the visa application. She was wonderful! I am sure there will be more Indonesian students if they only knew about the secret that is Liverpool Hope!"

Liverpool Hope says: "If there were awards for 'the most amazingly enthusiastic student in Liverpool", 'the furthest travelled student', and 'the first Indonesian student to Hope', then Novella has scored a hat-trick! She is full of motivation, determination and energy. She is a true inspiration.

And not only that, Novella is a fantastic writer. For a personal view of her experiences in Liverpool you can read her short story 'It's a Liverpool thing'.

More information about the MSc Health, Exercise and Nutrition

For full details of Liverpool Hope University's MSc Health, Exercise and Nutrition

To apply for the MSc Health, Exercise and Nutrition, or any other programme, and for personal help with your application, please contact International Recruitment at international@hope.ac.uk , telephone 00 44 151 291 3111