Greetings from Switzerland

Wait, where am I? No, I haven’t mixed up Sweden with Switzerland, I am actually in the latter country. More exactly, in Geneva, working for my thesis and doing an internship at World Health Organization.  Now, for a public health student, being an intern at WHO is a pretty exciting thing. Before I tell you how my first experiences here were, I’m going to tell you how I got to have the internship.

The master programme has quite a bit of  “Study abroad” opportunities. I’m sure you might have seen the webpage already, but here it is again, just in case : http://pingpong.ki.se/public/courseId/7007/coursePath/5549/ecp/lang-en/publicPage.do?item=3920065 Once you are a master student at KI, just follow the procedures they detail on the website. It’s pretty straightforward, and honestly, this generation has a knack for compiling applications 🙂

I for one chose to apply  to WHO HQ in Geneva, to see how WHO works in order to promote  evidence informed health policy-making. Now, this is a field that has to compete for priority with a multitude of other, similarly important, fields. So it’s a great opportunity for me to see, up close, what are the challenges that this very exciting field is facing.

This is my fourth week of internship, and I’ll be here until the end of April. I haven’t made up my mind about what would be the core of my experience in Geneva, because it’s simply too diverse. As a result, I will try to write short updates about how my work is progressing thoughout the rest of my stay here. Between thesis and internship, time is scarce, but I think readers will be interested in knowing what the last semester of the programme could entail. And just a reminder: feel free to contact me if you have specific questions about my experience in this masters. I might blog with irregularity some times, but I’m be happy to answer any of your questions.

Cheers

6 thoughts on “Greetings from Switzerland

  1. What a great opportunity! What masters program are you in? I’ve applied to the Global Health program and am anxiously awaiting results. I know the program is only one year- do you know if there would be internship opportunities available within this timeframe (or the summer after)? What is the application process for internships like? So curious and excited to get into this field! Really enjoying the blogs thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi Anna! Thanks for your comment. I could sense the excitement you’re feeling 🙂 It is a very exciting field, indeed. I’m studying the public health masters (economics, policy and management track). This is a 2 year programme, so it might be a bit different than the global health masters in terms of study abroad opportunities. The sure thing to do is e-mail study‑guidance@ki.se about this. I can tell you, though, that I have friends, former global health students at KI, who travelled for their master thesis to very exciting destinations. It would all depend on the topic you choose, and your supervisor. To get in contact with current students, e-mail one of the Global Health bloggers:Simon or Naieya (you can find their blogs on this site, just check the right-hand side of the blog webpage, you’ll find all the current bloggers and their study programme as well). Good luck!

  2. This is awesome. I applied for the Public Health Epidemiology programme for this up coming fall. And like everyone else I am anxiously waiting for the results (I have a countdown 12 more days!!). Are there other opportunities for internships during the summer between the two years or what do people normally do during that time??

    1. Hi, it is a pretty great opportunity indeed. Good luck, I hope the results will be positive. There are some other opportunities to study abroad, you can find them here:
      Especially for the fourth semester though, you can find your own project of interest and travel to carry out research! It is pretty great to do so 🙂
      Cheers

  3. Hi! This sounds really interesting and exciting! I am going to study health economics, policy and management starting autumn 2013. I would like to combine work&study, by continuing at the same hospital as I work daytime for now. Do you have any advice for me, how much work can I plan to have time with? Have you worked while studying? I am thinking of taking some courses or hp´s in the summer if possible. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Julia, Congratulations! I’m a bit nostalgic for my first year in the programme, so if I look back I only see fun and interesting time at uni. I wish you the same! Sorry it took some time to get back to you, with thesis deadline coming soon and finishing off my internship in the next week, time is a very scarce commodity. To answer your question, yes, I did work (as a research assistant) during my masters, but only on a 25% basis, and for limited periods of time. In my experience, there’re ways to make it work, but it depends on the requirements of each course leader and the organizations of the courses. This might have changed, but my experience was that the courses during the first semester required the most attendance, afterward the schedule became a bit more flexible. Of course, this might have just been me learning to juggle different requirements better. So, I would say that it is possible to work during the masters, but this depends on your ability to balance these responsibilities (job and uni), and also on how flexible your job schedule is. Good luck! Cheers, Ioana

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