It’s Complicated

Yangon, Myanmar for a visit

Hi there! My name is Natalie, and I’ll be live streaming about the Global Health Masters here at KI. My getting to Karolinska is a bit complicated, so I’ll start at the beginning and hopefully not bore you.

I was born in a small town in Canada to British-Canadian parents (yay for dual citizenship!), who then promptly moved back to China where they were teachers. I swear, I have a Made in China sticker. We lived there for 3 years before coming back to Canada, where I lived for 8 years before we went on a wild ride back and forth to China for the next 8 years. I finished high school at an international school near Tianjin, and then took a gap year to volunteer in Thailand. I then went to study International Development and communications at McGill University. While technically back home, I can’t say Canada was familiar.

During my BA I remembered that love health. I’d always loved learning about infectious diseases and determinants of health (before they were called that), but never thought I was smart enough for medicine. I specialised in health and discovered a passion for maternal health and midwifery during those years, but never got deep enough.

One of my doula babies!

After graduation I did the typical floundering before certifying as a doula and working at a non-profit for a few years. But I’m a restless person, and 6 years in the same place starts to chafe. I started looking at going back to school, and found Karolinska by internet stalking Hans Rosling, whose TED talks had completely captured everything I believed (don’t lie, I know lots of you will have done the same thing). I’d heard of him before of course, but never dreamed it would be possible that I could possibly be studying at KI!

We’re often asked why we chose our programs, and the truth is it’s complicated. The best way I have of explaining it is that Global Health encompasses everything about me; my international background, non-profit experience, university training, passion for social justice, and ties it all together. It’s hard to say where I’m from because home is in so many different places, but I’m looking forward to making Stockholm one of them.

This is Canada, don’t worry!

If you have any questions at all (especially if you’re a dual citizen as I am!), feel free to contact me:


Instagram: natalie.m.boyle

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