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Ahmad and Clara

Clara and Ahmed
Ahmad Usama Ali Khan (right) obtained his degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy at the Riphah International University in Islamabad (Pakistan). Clara Senior Osafo Sasu (left) graduated as a BSc in Physiotherapy in 2015 from the University of Ghana in Accra (Ghana). Both are students of the Master of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy: Neurological Conditions.

You’ve both come a long way to study at the UAntwerp. What’s your story?

  • Ahmad: “After obtaining my degree in 2015, I started working as a physiotherapist in the Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad. After that two friends and I started our own physiotherapy clinic in Multan: the Al-Rukha Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Center. During home visits I came across many patients with neurological conditions. I felt the need to refine and cultivate my competences, so I decided to leave our clinic and pursue a Master’s degree in Antwerp.”  
     
  • Clara: “I developed specific interest in neurorehabilitation during my voluntary service in the stroke center of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the largest hospital in Ghana. I realized I needed more in-depth knowledge and decided to enrol in a postgraduate programme. However, I spent a lot of time searching for the appropriate training. I liked the idea of studying in Europe so my friend in Hasselt suggested the MSc programme with a major in neurological conditions at the UAntwerp. After a review on the university I knew I had finally found the right programme that goes in line with my future aspirations.” 

What are your impressions of the Master programme so far?

  • Ahmad: “We’re in our first year now and I must say that I am really satisfied with the programme. The teaching is student-centred and evidence-based. The tutors pay a lot of attention to individual students and provide scientific literature for a more comprehensive understanding of the subjects. This is a whole new approach for me and it intensifies my fascination for scientific research. I hope that my Master’s thesis on vestibular disorders in diabetes type 2 patients will eventually lead to a PhD .”
     
  • Clara: “The programme is really well structured and the theoretical classes are stimulating. However, I still have to get used to attending lectures with more than 100 students. I had only 15 classmates in Ghana (laughs)! Right now I am doing a clinical traineeship in the University Hospital (UZA), which is really close to the ‘life sciences campus’ or Campus Drie Eiken. I am learning new techniques and different approaches every day, and the contact with the patients is smoother than I expected.”

What do you think of our city?

  • Ahmad: “Antwerp is fantastic. I love the architecture and … “.
     
  • Clara: “… the nightlife!”
  • Ahmad: “You know me too well, Clara (laughs). I plead guilty: the nightlife here is exceptional! I have made tons of friends from all over the world at student parties. I’ve even seen my heroes Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike performing live. It was like a dream!”
  • Clara: “I am a big fan of the movie theatres in the city centre and I love the central location of Antwerp. I have been to Maastricht and Ahmad already visited Paris and Amsterdam. My siblings can hardly believe it, but it’s true: I can ride a bike now. I learned it here by trial and error. No training wheels for me (laughs)!”

Any advice for future students?

  • Ahmad: “Yes, learn Dutch. It will help you in your everyday life but also on campus. Atlas, the bureau for integration in Antwerp, is really helpful if you are looking for a Dutch language course.”
     
  • Clara: “I definitely recommend this programme, but future students should know that this programme comprises more than merely a thesis. It is a demanding and advanced programme that includes many theoretical lessons as well. Commitment to study and a lot of determination are a must!”