Introductions

Hej everyone,

My name is Simon, I’m one of the new digital ambassadors representing the global health master’s program. I came here from the US (California originally, New York City most recently) where, before starting at KI, I was studying medicine. I am taking a one-year break to do the global health program, after which I will return to NYC to finish the last year of my medical degree.

Either that, or I’ll stay in Stockholm forever.

I’ve been here for a little over a month now and in short, I love it. To be fair, I’ve been to Sweden before, so I had an idea of what to expect, and I have family here in Stockholm, so the transition was relatively easy for me. Nonetheless, I do love it here, so much so that I’ve been known to periodically stop mid-thought and declare so to anyone listening. (Disclaimer: I don’t mean to exoticize Sweden or its people or imply that everything is perfect here; just expressing that many things feel different from back home, and I appreciate many of these differences for what they are.)

Anyway, I was drawn to KI and the global health (from here on, GH) program for a lot of reasons — some of which I’m still trying to understand — but essentially to gain some experience in public health research in the global/low-income setting in hopes of informing/steering my career in medicine in that direction. KI seemed like the right place to do that (because of its reputation, a one-year program, and the opportunity for field experience), and I had personal reasons for coming to Sweden as well (family, as above).

In fact, this seems to be a theme amongst many (though definitely not all) people in the GH program. A lot of us have come from studies/careers in other fields and are using this year as a transition point. There’s something really reassuring to be surrounded by people from such different circumstances whom have yet all come to prioritize the same ideals (health and social justice, I would say) over convenience. If y’all out there reading are feeling something similar, you might be in the right place.

Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to convey my insights and experiences as an international student at KI to those applying to a master’s program here (and maybe to some family & friends if I can get them to read this). With that in mind, at this point in the year (i.e. a few days before applications open) I assume anyone reading this is weighing their options and trying to get a feel for what the GH program is about and what it’s really like. I’ll do my best to relate my experiences, and if anyone has questions or wants more information about something, feel free to contact me. I made good use of these blogs and insights of the digital ambassadors when I was applying, so this is my attempt to pay it forward. Thanks for reading.

-Simon

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