Being a student at KI: HPP edition

I remember when I first got accepted to KI, I had so many questions regarding what students liked about Karolinska, their courses, living in Stockholm and so on. Since this is the first year of the Health Promotion and Prevention (HPP) stream, when I applied there were no current students to answer my questions, which is why I asked some of my classmates in the HPP stream to share their insight on the program and being a student at KI in Stockholm.

Why did you pick this program?

“I wanted to get skills to study public health problems but also to improve people’s health. This program gives us the opportunity to learn very useful epidemiological tools and skills to develop public health interventions.“ – Nora, Spain 

“I chose this program, and specifically the HPP track, because I want to contribute to the field of public health in a meaningful way. Studying Public Health Sciences at KI will equip me to tackle disparities that contribute to inequalities in health in my career. This program was appealing because of its focus on health promotion, which will allow me to engage with communities to collaborate toward effective solutions. It is a bonus that the HPP program is a global program at KI, and I get to learn so much from my diverse group of peers everyday!” – Charlotte Myers, USA 

“Long story short, I always had a passion to bring changes to the society in terms of health, as a nurse I have seen the impact on how strengthened health promotion and prevention can have a huge effect on the communities from childhood to elderly. Focusing on social determinants, immigrants, minorities, and the vulnerable group of the society.” – Amna, Bahrain 

“I was interested in interventions for vulnerable populations, especially to children and young people.” – Takuto Naito, Japan 

What has been your favorite class and why?

“I really enjoyed the Introduction to planning module because I can already apply what I have learnt to my volunteering work as a project manager in a small NGO.” – Nora, Spain 

“So far it has been the IMM course taught by Olena (Methods for distribution of Health – epidemiology).” – Amna, Bahrain 

“Introduction to the planning and developing program. In this course, we had 4 group assignments and I learned a lot during the discussion.” – Jinyu Yang, China 

What are you looking forward to in the second year of the program?

“I am very excited to start writing my thesis and get in contact with the research atmosphere in KI.” – Nora, Spain 

“In the second and final year of the program, we will get to work individually on a thesis project. This is probably what I look forward to the most because we will have the opportunity to apply the skills that we have been developing during the first year-and-a-half of this program to a project that we choose. I think that will be both challenging and rewarding because we will need to think critically about a topic within public health and design an effective and ethical way to explore it. The thesis project will illustrate what we have learned throughout this program in a personalized way.” – Charlotte Myers, USA 

“To see what research opportunities there are at KI to conduct my thesis on. (Have not yet decided what I want to research on).” – Amna, Bahrain 

“Must be the thesis. I would like to know the difference of myself after this 2-year master as I did my bachelor thesis 1 year ago. And I am looking forward to using what I’ve learned for the practice.” – Jinyu Yang, China 

“The course on intervention evaluation.” – Takuto Naito, Japan

What is your overall favorite part of being a student at KI?

“I enjoy all the extracurricular activities and student groups we have access to. Before COVID, I used to attend plenty of seminars and activities organized by other KI students.” – Nora, Spain 

“Having an international class and meeting students from different countries, connecting with classmates and making friends around the world.” – Amna, Bahrain 

“I would say the diversity of the classmates. We are an international track, 20 students from 17 countries ( can’t remember clearly). And we are also from diverse backgrounds, social science, politics, medicine…(can’t remember either…). When we have the group discussion, I am always shocked by the ideas from everyone. And they are all very nice. I always enjoy discussing with each other.” – Jinyu Yang, China 

“It’s culture that respects the differences among us. We have quite a mixed composition of classmates ethnically and different backgrounds. This leads to surprisingly different findings and interesting opinions on a single topic.” – Takuto Naito, Japan 

What is your favorite part of living in Stockholm?

“Stockholm has both the vibes of the city and plenty of nice natural spots. You have all the advantages of a big capital city and at the same time you can enjoy nature and a quiet walk.” – Nora, Spain 

“Stockholm is such a special city. I have had the opportunity to live here before, and one of the draws to studying at KI was to return to Stockholm. A cool thing about Stockholm is that it has the feeling of a capital city, but it is still manageable. The city is walkable, and it is biker friendly, and the best part is that it is made up of 14 islands, so water and nature are never far! The darkness in the winter is made charming by the markets and lights, while the light in the summertime never ends so the city is always alive!” – Charlotte Myers, USA 

“The city vibe, Swedish brewed coffee is the best I have ever tasted so far. It’s the real deal, hits you in a different way and the taste is good quality coffee. Organic food is everywhere and easily accessible. It’s a vegan friendly country, people are super friendly and everyone speaks English which makes it so easy to go out and about. I love the Fika gatherings and how Swedes respect coffee breaks during work/class hours.” – Amna, Bahrain 

“Plenty of natural and artificial beauty is packed. At the same time, Stockholm is safe, convenient and comfortable even though the weather is a bit depressing in November.” – Takuto Naito, Japan 

Anything else you would like to add?

“It’s always normal to take time to adapt to a place. Some adapt very fast and some it takes months depending on where you come from and your culture. But Sweden is very welcoming and you won’t feel like a stranger once you start to slowly adapt to the country and its culture. It’s always good to explore a new country, it’s a growth and a development in your life. We were there in your shoes, it’s not easy but it’s doable! Wish you all the best.” – Amna, Bahrain 

“I enjoyed our program much more than I expected so far.” – Takuto Naito, Japan 

I hope sharing these thoughts from current students helps alleviate some of your questions and concerns and gets you excited to come to KI and Stockholm! We look forward to meeting you! 

Please reach out if you have any questions –

Thanks for reading! 


*A huge thank-you to my classmates who participated in answering these questions!

Lauren Wiebe- Health Promotion and Prevention

Lauren Wiebe- Health Promotion and Prevention

Hi! I am Lauren, I was born and raised in Canada, and you probably will hear me talking about how much I love Canada, especially the mountains. I am the blogger for the Master's Public Health Sciences Health Promotion and Prevention stream and I am excited to share my experiences with you!


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