Back to School in a Virtual Environment – GH Student Perspectives on the Year Ahead
The MSc Global Health program at McMaster is a 12-month program, where students learn through an interdisciplinary approach designed to prepare graduates for careers in a globalized world. Throughout the program students engage in transcontinental learning, working with peers from partner universities and global networks.
This year’s Global Health students have just begun their studies. Eager, excited, fearful, nervous are all feelings expressed by the students. Whenever starting a new school and environment with other classmates, and professors, it can be quite challenging. Change can be uncomfortable yet exciting because of the endless opportunities, new experiences, and learnings. Throughout the course of the year, students will develop learning strategies while working in groups to investigate global health challenges, understand the concept of ‘globalization’, and explore methodological perspectives in global health.
We think it’s fair to say that one of our biggest concerns at the beginning of September was the transition into a graduate program – and in this section, we will talk about our thoughts and perspectives on the experience thus far. Throughout our first month, we realized that graduate studies are quite different, at least compared to our past experience in studying science. More readings, discussions, and critical thinking opportunities are the biggest differences we’ve noticed this far – but we’re not complaining as it has been SO refreshing to study topics that we’re truly passionate about!
We also can’t forget about one of the biggest differences unique to this program, which is the international learning environment. Throughout the program, we have the opportunity to study with students from partner institutions across the world which is definitely not something we experienced in our undergraduate studies. The transition to working in a cross-cultural team has been extremely rewarding, but it comes with its own unique challenges. As the months go by, we’re sure that we will continue to develop our global skillset to tackle these challenges and feel excited about the rest of our time in this program.
Don’t just take our word for it! Check out what some of our classmates have to say about their experience in the program thus far.
|“My first month in the global health program has been great! Learning about topics like health policy analysis to globalization are definitely teaching me how to be a critical thinker and preparing me for a career in global health. The faculty and students are all so friendly and welcoming.” – Alyssa Adamo, MSc Student|
|“Initially, the unfamiliarity made the online structure a little difficult to get used to. But the collaborative nature of the program and the people that I’m meeting have made everything so much more enjoyable. With some of my peers, I had a chance to meet and study in person, have drinks together, and inadvertently laugh at each other in zoom meetings for no reason. Online structure is teaching me to appreciate the little things a little more!” – Steven Choi, MSc Student|
|“I feel fortunate to be a member of the global health program. Since the first day of the semester, I’ve been smitten by global health. Every lesson, like the layers of an onion, reveals and teaches me something new about global health… Despite the fact that we are taking an online class, the professors are making every effort to make us feel at ease and approachable so that we can comprehend the material without difficulty” – Naharin Sultana Anni, Ph.D. Student|
|“So far the MSc Global Health is off to a wonderful start. The program has already given us the opportunity to meet and work with other like-minded people from various academic backgrounds and countries. Our professors are all very supportive, enthusiastic, and have gotten me very excited for what’s to come over the next year!” – Noah Smith, MSc Student|