I have a bachelor's degree in nursing and a master's degree in public health from the University of the Philippines Manila. I used to be a civil servant working in the field of health policy and research. I felt that pursuing this course here in Antwerp will provide me with the tools of becoming a more well-rounded public health practitioner and future social epidemiologist.
What are your impressions of the Epidemiology programme?
I think that one of main strength of the programme is the diversity in the students. My classmates (and friends) are from all over the world, some of whom are doctors, nurses, university lecturers or mathematicians. I learn a lot from them almost as much as I learn from the actual classes. My Belgian and Dutch classmates are really helpful especially in explaining certain Belgian ideas or context that I am not familiar with.
Other strong points of the programme are: the programme’s emphasis on work collaboration and the rich academic and professional network that the programme is associated with.
Collaboration with other university seems easier. I think he location of UAntwerp also allows for better collaboration with universities and experts outside of the university and also outside Belgium.
What do you think of our city?
Living in Antwerp made me learn how to ride the bike, which is amazing! It is both convenient and fun. I find that this is one of the best ways to explore the city. Antwerp is a very safe place to live. While Antwerp has some nice museums, the street art scene makes this artistic city more interesting. It reflects relevant social issues, the diversity in the people living in Antwerp and also the young and vibrant feel of the city against the backdrop of the beautiful classical architecture.
What can you recommend to future epidemiology students?
It is best to take advantage of any opportunity to collaborate, share ideas and learn from others. You often will find inputs which you will not have considered without another person’s help. Treat feedback as another chance to look at your ideas or work in a different light. In class discussions, be open to criticism and listen to comments given by others.
What are your plans for the future?
Either here or back home, I want to work in the field of migration health or in mental health. As an aspiring social epidemiologist, I want to focus my energy on those two topics.