Farzeen Foda

Senior News Editor

 

One of McMaster’s relatively new graduate programs, the Masters in Global Health, will be taking a trip to India’s Manipal University in April as part of a two-week symposium in collaboration with a Manipal University and Maastricht University in the Netherlands .

During the event, which has the theme “Bridging Different Worlds,” students will also be working on various development projects, “ranging from assessing safe drinking water in urban slums, to examining causes of infant mortality at Karkala Hospital,” said Stena Sothiratnam, a student in the Masters in Global Health program who will be going on the trip.

“It is basically a practical placement in the field during which we will be participating in research data collection for research studies that are currently in progress or will be starting at that point,” said Ryhana Dawood and Natahsa McNamara, members of the Fundraising Committee for the project, in an email.

A project in a developing nation such as India would be a valuable experience for students in this program, as many intend to apply their expertise from their program outside of Canada, noted Dawood and McNamara, who further explained that the purpose of the program “is to get students better acquainted with development work, and what exactly that entails.”

With a focus on health care, the 28 students, including nine exchange students from the Netherlands, will be engaging in projects dealing with health care systems in other countries.

This is the second year the program is running and hosting a trip of this sort.

To fund the trip, a self-defense/fitness seminar will be held on campus for a nominal fee, and depending on demand, more than one such seminar will be held. Methods to engage the residence students in the fundraising efforts are under consideration as well.

With McMaster’s renewed commitment to the revitalization of the undergraduate learning experience, an endeavour of this nature is certainly a positive step in improving the educational experience. “There is only so much that can be learned from flipping through the pages of a textbook,” said Sothiratnam.

“We hope to gain a lot from this experience and we personally feel a service-learning component is beneficial to all learning environments,” said Dawood and McNamara.

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