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Global Health Students in India: A Chance to Grow, Learn, and Prepare for the Future

Global Health Students in India: A Chance to Grow, Learn, and Prepare for the Future

Global Health students in Manipal.

May 1, 2017

“In Manipal, I wake up and head to school ready for amazing chances to grow, learn and be challenged in a way that’s not typical of back home,” says McMaster MSc Global Health program student Ivan Meiszinger, who has spent the last two weeks in India for the program’s learning symposium, Bridging Different Worlds, an experience designed to prepare students for their future careers. 

In India, students from all three partner universities – McMaster, Maastricht, and Manipal – meet face to face with their international peers and come under intense pressure as they navigate complex group dynamics, participate in field visits, and deliver presentations to global health experts.

The field orientation component offers students valuable insight into the Indian health care system and exposes them to organizations and their roles at a local level. At the same time, it encourages cross-cultural collaboration as students from diverse backgrounds come together to solve problems.

Student Rachel McDougall, whose fieldwork focused on infectious disease surveillance, had the opportunity to speak with different stakeholders involved in medical care, public health and disease reporting. “While it was difficult to come up with questions in the preparation sessions in a theoretical setting, it was completely different when we were actually talking with these experts,” she explains, noting the importance of hands-on experience. “It was easy to have open discussions and our curiosity naturally gave way to many questions,” she says.

As the symposium comes to a close, students move on to their field placements or continue with their thesis research having gained valuable practical experience and new cultural perspectives. "I've been introduced to many ideas and world views that I have never thought of before. It has been humbling and rewarding," says student Kaiyang Fan. 

Read about the Bridging Different Worlds symposium in the student blog