Hej! I’m Laura, a first-year student from the epidemiology track of the Master’s Program in Public Health Sciences. I’m very pleased to be joining the digital ambassadors this semester as Andrea travels abroad to conduct her master’s thesis.
Allow me to introduce the Epi Track Class of 2015. We are 19 full-time students that hail from China, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Finland, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Romania, and Greece. In addition, we have had exchange students from China, France, and Australia. Our backgrounds are in public health, medicine, health management, medical genetics, pharmacy, biology, preventive medicine, nutrition, psychology, and sports and health science. As you can see, we’re a diverse bunch!
As for me, I come from Philadelphia. My first degree was in business and international studies, and after graduation, I worked for several years at a large corporation in Germany. Eventually, I became interested in studying mental health, so I took classes in psychology and worked in two research groups working with adolescents. I decided to pursue a master’s in epidemiology because I am interested in mental health promotion and disease prevention at the population level. The reason that I came to Karolinska Institutet over other programs is that I was impressed with the curriculum and KI’s profile as a research-intensive institution. I must admit that having the opportunity to live in Stockholm was also a huge draw!
One of the most famous and beautiful views of Stockholm.
Like most of the global master’s programs at KI, our program is four semesters long. During the first three semesters, we take classes, and we complete a master’s thesis during our final semester. One of my very favorite things about KI is that we only take one course at a time with each class lasting around five weeks. This allows us to concentrate completely on the subject at hand and also go into more depth. Courses consist of lectures given by a wide variety of researchers and experts from KI and from other institutions, for example, from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which is located on the KI campus. This is also one of the best parts about our program because we are given the opportunity to learn from and interact with researchers active in many different fields and contexts. Besides lectures, there are a lot of group assignments as well as some individual assignments and usually a written exam at the end. The final detail I will mention because it surprised me is that we do not receive letter grades, but rather the grades “pass,” “fail,” or “pass with distinction.” I am not sure, but I don’t think that all of the master’s programs use this system.
Hopefully, this background information gives you some context for what we are up to in the program right now. In upcoming posts, I will reflect on what we did in our first semester so you are all up-to-date ☺