My name is Diego, I am from Mexico and I am starting my first year of the Masters Program in Public Health Sciences/Epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet (KI). I am also one of the new Digital Ambassadors so I would like to let you know more about myself and why I decided to come to cold Stockholm all the way from warm and cozy Mexico to study my Masters degree.
I graduated from Medical School in Mexico earlier this year and during medical school, I was lucky enough to travel quite a lot, or at least enough to wake up my interest in health services and public health. I spent 2 months in The Netherlands, doing a Summer School in Pediatrics at University of Groningen; 5 months at Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina, doing an Internal Medicine clinical Rotation; 1 year at Harvard Medical School in the United States (US) as a Research Fellow and 1 month at the University of San Diego doing a cardiology rotation. Studying medicine in all these different places gave me the opportunity to see a lot of different health care systems in action, and I was surprised to notice that, although medicine is the same everywhere, medical attention is not.
This is why I decided to study Public Health, but why at KI? Well, I reviewed a lot of programs in Mexico, in the US and in Europe and Karolinska Institutet immediately caught my attention because of the quality of research and the international focus of the program, the more I read about Public Health at KI, the more apparent it became that this program was very different from all the others. Of course I had heard about this prestigious Medical University and the Nobel prize, but apart from that I really had no idea of what to expect from Karolinska and even less about Sweden. I decided to apply, a little because of the adventure, but also because I felt this program offered exactly what I wanted, so I just went for it.
I moved to Sweden a little over two months ago, and so far it has been GREAT. I had high hopes about this University and so far they have exceeded my expectation. I have had the opportunity to interact with amazing people from different backgrounds from all over the world and the professors have been very good so far, I was glad to see that the relationship with teachers here is very informal and personal, which makes interaction easier. Every week there are many academic and social events, so there is always something to do around KI.
Moving here has also been a challenge, mostly because of the language. Although it is true that most of the people in Sweden and specially in Stockholm speaks english, it is also true that the Swedish culture is very strong and proud, so the language barrier becomes a sort of cultural barrier that has been one of the most difficult thing to overcome, and learning a language is always a challenge. Another difficult thing has been to go through all the bureaucratic processes, like getting a personal number (personnummer) a Swedish ID (ID Kort) and Swedish bank account. Housing is also a very difficult thing, I am currently staying at one of KI´s housing facilities, but for the second year I will have to find somewhere else to live and waiting lists are very long. So these are also something to keep in mind.
Overall, I have had a great experience so far. I think that the benefits certainly overcome the challenges and that anyone interested in Public Health should definitely look at this program as an option.
I hope you have enjoyed reading a little about myself and I will try to tell you more about this program and other things at KI as time goes by.
Here is my contact info, in case anyone wants to know more or to ask me any questions.
These are some nice links to follow for anyone interested in studying at KI!