Now you have probably found out your selection results – I thought it might be good to give you a taster of they type of people who will be in your class, and provide you with some further insights on what to expect…. and what this course can offer you. Here are four interviews with four Global Health Students who are currently taking the course and what their hopes are for the future! Each one of these students was asked five simple questions – see below what their answers were!
Special thanks to Sara, Louis, Malaika and Gry for the time they gave me and for allowing me to publish this information on their behalf!
(Guyana and Sweden)
1. Why did you choose Global Health? A little over ten years ago I completed a Masters in International Relations at the University of Amsterdam. After working, and being at home with my children for some years I decided to return to school. I chose Global Health because I wanted to do something that was an extension of the work within international development that I’d done; something that would allow me to combine my interest in research with my passion for working at a personal level with people in communities to help effect change. I have always been concerned with the situation in the lives of women, men and children who live in difficult circumstances: people who lack the basic resources to live decently; people who need change the most but are least able to achieve it because of their marginal status. I saw Global Health as an opportunity to help to work towards that change.
2. How have you found the course? I found the course both invigorating and at times scary! Much of it was new to me, particularly the health-related aspects of the course. While I loved getting into new areas and covering new subjects, at the same time there was the opportunity to fall back into the familiar confines of international development issues. I must admit that being a full-time student and at the same time a mother to two young children came with its own set of challenges but I faced those with the help of a very supportive network of family and friends.
3. What are the strong points? Without a doubt one of the strongest aspects of the course was the diverse range of talented minds it attracted; in terms of the lecturers yes, who challenged us to think and be active participants in classes; but particularly in terms of the students. I found it inspiring and stimulating to be surrounded by fellow students from a range of backgrounds and experiences.
4. What were the weak points? I have to say that for me, one of the weak points was that the course only lasts for a year! There’s such a wealth of information that the course provides, that we’re not able to delve into the subjects as much as students in a two-year Masters for instance, which is a bit of a shame.
5. Future Plans: At this point, my focus for my future lies in completing my thesis! Ideally though, I’d love to have the opportunity to build on this incredible learning experience and work in a field that aims to create positive global changes in the areas of health, sustainable development and human rights.
1. Why did you choose Global Health? Global health because I definitely knew I wanted to get into the healthcare field, but my politics background makes it potentially difficult to go directly into a hardcore science or medicine — in many ways this was intended as a half/half introduction. Also, job applications had said that I required a masters to get further in the process. And this one is free…
2. How have you found the course? Really enjoyed it. As with all courses, some lectures aren’t as good as others, but on the whole they have been of a very high standard. Compared to my bachelor’s, the university really seems to care about students getting the most out of the course.
3. What are the strong points? Strong points. As above. Very student-focused, considerate teaching. I.e. lots of breaks and interactive work. Generally expert lecturers.
4. What were the weak points? Weak points tend to the other side of the strong points. Namely, some of the group works and interactive stuff didn’t really work and in general, there is a feeling that the course is quite easy. I think this means too supportive. I don’t think this is a bad thing necessarily — being told to go off and read 30 articles in two days then report back on them isn’t my idea of good teaching — but I can see why some might find that the case.
5. Future Plans: Not sure. Possibly future medical degree. Possibly health NGO. Definitely health based and definitely abroad (from the UK).
(Sweden and Denmark)
1. Why did you choose Global Health? Global Health to better my chances of a non-clinical job and maybe to get a chance to work abroad.
2. How have you found the course? I suppose it´s both good and bad.
3. What are the strong points? We have had some really good and renowned lecturers in class. KI (or Joel) really pushes to get as many published as possible. Good for job hunting later on.
4. What were the weak points? The interest of keeping up the reputation as a great research institute seems to overshadow the more important issue of giving us a good education. The program can sometimes feel like a PR-trick more than anything.
5. Future Plans: I am hoping for a summer internship in the field of global health and to carry on in that direction. The sky´s the limit!
1. Why did you choose Global Health? A super interesting topic that also is linked with my past experience working in many low and middle income countries with MSF (Doctors without borders). I wanted to integrate my work experience with academic knowledge, as well as opening up other possible career possibilities in the future.
2. How have you found the course thus far? Fantastic fellow students from many countries and backgrounds. Good link with current research and theory.
3. What are the strong points? The programme is very research oriented. Multidisciplinary students and teachers makes the content and dynamics interesting.
4. What are the weak points? The multidisciplinary and mixed levels of experience among the students, making it difficult to find a level that fits all. For me, personally, with a medical background and experience of working for many years in LMICs, this has sometimes been frustrating, but at the same time I have always found new perspectives of what I already knew.
5. What are your future plans, dreams hopes and aspirations?– Very open! To continue working internationally with these questions, in Sweden or abroad. Or continue with a PhD in this topic…