Good afternoon Honourable Rector, Vice-Rector, Respected Teachers and fellow students.
I am most honoured to be a pioneer student from Singapore studying here in Russia. I consider myself fortunate to be a student of this marvelous Academy, and my six years here have taught me to be more independent, resilient, ethical and skilled in the practice of medicine. These I feel are the characteristics of a true medical practitioner because as doctors, our number one aim is not only to serve our fellow beings as best we can, but serve them from the heart.
You must know how small Singapore is. On the map of the world, our tiny Island Republic is even tinier than its name. So when I first came to Saint Petersburg with my two sisters, I felt like an infant that had suddenly emerged from its mother’s womb into a vast new world – in this case, this enormous country – Russia. The climatic and cultural shock my sisters and I received when we first stepped out of Pulkovo International Airport during the freezing winter of the year 2002 was more than enough to make us feel that we should immediately turn about and leave. But we are now glad that we didn’t.
Russia has taught us much not only about medicine, but also about Life. My parents, who are here today, are truly pleased with the knowledge and skills we have acquired from a Russian education and they are looking forward to another trip to Saint Petersburg next year to witness my sister’s graduation.
Next, I must add that my country Singapore must surely be proud of us for taking the initiative of being her educational ambassadors to Russia in the medical field. This we hope will open the doors to more Singaporeans, who will travel here to take advantage of the study opportunities Russia offers to foreigners.
Lastly, I would like to thank all my teachers and friends who have been generous with their help and friendship. This has made our six years here comfortable and worth while. We hope and pray...