8 questions with a Public Health Sciences student: stories from Bangladesh to KI

With the holiday season quickly approaching, this also means that we are in the midst of application season! For my classmates and I, this also means that we now must face yet another final course exam (I am totally procrastinating by writing this blog). Some of you may have many questions about the programs you are applying for, perhaps regarding who would potentially be making up your program cohort. Well, I am here to (hopefully) minimize some of your stress while answering your curiosities about what sort of students are studying in the Global Masters programs here at KI. As the first of many interviews to come with current cool and chic Global Masters students, I’ll be introducing you all to Jubayer from my class, a first-year Public Health Sciences program student in the Epidemiology track.

Meet Jubayer!

Hi Jubayer, tell me where you are from, your previous work experience, and your academic background. 

“I am from Bangladesh, I studied medicine and am a registered medical doctor there. After completing my first master’s program in Health Service Management and getting my medical license, I started working with public health agencies. If we go into more detail regarding my experience, I have worked in implementing health interventions in a humanitarian emergency context. My first notable experience within this context of public health was when I had the opportunity to work with nutrition, immunization, and disease surveillance in the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh. For the last three years, I worked with WHO in their Immunization and vaccine-preventable disease surveillance branch. My main role with the organization was the implementation of Covid-19 vaccine campaigns among refugee populations. Apart from this, I work part-time with some research groups in Bangladesh on infectious diseases.”

On academics and KI

What draws you to public health? What is your favorite part about public health?

“Public health allows me to work with a larger population and gives me a chance to contribute to the betterment of the community. This aspect of public health is especially appealing to me because I value the importance of interventions, which at times can be more beneficial than treatment over the long term. My favorite part of public health is seeing the positive impacts made by the interventions we planned come to fruition.”

Why did you choose to study at KI?

“I had two main reasons when I applied, besides my interest in studying public health sciences here. One of the reasons is Karolinska Institutet’s affiliations with the Nobel Assembly and its close ties with the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The prestige has always inspired me as a physician, and it has continued to do so as a student at KI. The second reason is the substantial impact and contributions that KI alumni have made in the field of global health.”

Delving into the (more personal) highs and lows

What has been a highlight of studying here?

“The welcoming and equal (in Swedish: “jämställd”) environment. Also in regards to equality, the fact that the opinions of the students are equally valued by the teaching staff and university authority. The feedback system is valuable here. I think this differs from Bangladesh, where in my experience, students have very little say if and when they are dissatisfied with a course or their professor(s). In contrast, here at KI (in my experience), the course leaders and our department are eager to proactively improve the quality of our education, which is very refreshing. In terms of the program I study, our class is very international with more than 20 countries, with diversified backgrounds. So we have the opportunity to exchange views and experiences from diversified academic and cultural backgrounds- i.e. law, medicine, nursing, and the social sciences. Every day, I get the chance to learn from different peers, and it feels very special to me.”

What has been a challenge for you here?

“Before coming here, I found the application process to be challenging for me. I found it to be competitive, and I applied to KI for a few years before getting accepted. After moving to Sweden, language has been a barrier for me. Outside of the academic environment, even at KI, the cafes and restaurants are in Swedish and I have had to use translation gadgets. But it has been beneficial that KI offers free Swedish classes for the first semester! I attend classes weekly and so do quite a few of my classmates. The weather has also been a challenge for me.” (it gets dark before 3PM now! For tips on how to survive the Swedish winter, check out Naomi’s most recent blog post!)

Reflecting on the past, present, and future

What would you tell to yourself one year ago?

“I would tell myself that consistency is the key to success. I wanted to be at KI, I was not accepted during my first application but I didn’t give up, and I was able to end up here this year after preserving. It was beyond my imagination to come to KI five years ago after medical school, but I liked to, and glad I kept on dreaming bigger and bigger. I would tell myself to never give up despite failing hard or struggling at times. I would reinforce my belief that I am capable of reaching any dream not immediately, but someday, with the right attitude!”

What is your favorite Swedish word?

“Fika! It gives us food and time to socialize with peers, and in general, I think it is a very essential aspect of socializing in a new environment in Sweden.”

Do you have a dream profession?

“A professor and a PI (principal investigator) at KI! I am especially interested in specializing in Epidemiology, specifically within clinical epidemiology working with cancer or cardiovascular epidemiology. I’d also definitely want to be a course leader in the Public Health Sciences program that I am currently enrolled in.”

Thank you Jubayer for sharing your journey to, and at KI! I hope you all have a slightly better idea of who and what your future cohorts can look like. Stay tuned for more blogs featuring other classmates soon!

Risa-Public Health Sciences

Risa-Public Health Sciences

Hej! I am Risa, a Japanese Master's student in Public Health Sciences starting my studies in 2023 at Karolinska Institutet. Having been interested in the multidisciplinary, globally applicative, and cooperative nature of the public health field, paired with my familiarity with KI’s global reputation, I’ve always had the desire to study at KI. I enjoy curating playlists, petting cats, and going on scenic walks around Stockholm in my free time.


Adise Mosissa Ejeta

Adise Mosissa Ejeta

Thank you for sharing your experience with ki Risa!

Adise Mosissa Ejeta

Adise Mosissa Ejeta

Wow, it is an interesting journey. I am applying to the KI MSc in Public Health Science Health Education and Prevention for 2024. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs Dr. Jubayer.

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