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Three Reflections from First Semester of Grad School

By Lakshmi Krishna Menon (MSc Global Health Student) I’m Indian; born in Kuwait, raised in Canada, and currently pursuing my Master of Science in Global Health at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.  It’s my first time studying abroad and living away from my parents.  This is a note to my younger self from five months ago; a list of things I learned, sometimes painfully, in my first semester of grad school. 1. You don’t need more genius; you need more articulation. I studied Biomedical Sciences in undergrad., where we used specific words to describe technical concepts and processes. The term “glycolysis” meant the conversion of glucose into pyruvate molecules, and “Boyle’s Law” referred to how at a constant temperature, the volume of a gas is inversely proportional to its pressure. In grad. school, the vocabulary changed. Ideas were often dressed up with words such as “capacity building” or “driver of innovation”. I was presented with a dilemma: do I emulate the jargon of the global health landscape? I decided to ask this question in class, and that conversation went something like this: Me: Professor, what exactly do you mean when you say, ‘systems thinking’?! Professor: Improving access to healthcare requires collaborative efforts from the government for funding, pharmaceutical companies for medicines, academic institutions for well-trained physicians, urban planners for infrastructure design, policymakers for culturally-sensitive health interventions, etc. You need...

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Le GSI en visite à Berne

Le 12 avril, la MSOGSI en coopération avec l’AEMAP, a organisé le voyage d’étude à Berne pour les étudiants du GSI. Une première visite guidée s’est déroullée au parlement fédéral Suisse et a été très instructif pour nos étudiants qui ont pu enrichir leurs connaissances sur le système politique suisse, les coutumes de démocratie suisse et sur les hommes politiques. Ensuite, les étudiants ont rencontré sur place le Secrétaire du Conseil national, ainsi que le stagiaire aux Commissions thématiques, et la stagiaire au service de contrôle parlementaire de l’administration, qui leur ont presenté les différentes possibilités de stage, leur...

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Tipping point that brought us to the beginning of “New Turkey”

Within 2-3 hours of time the trajectory of a country of nearly 80 million people changed, and I would argue, completely. It started with tanks belonging to Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) blocking passage on both bridges of Istanbul that connect Europe and Asia, a clear sign of a coup d’état that the Turkish society experienced four times in the past. People were curious, anxious, waiting to see what will happen next. Then came the news of war jets flying low over major cities like Ankara and Istanbul. Millions of people living in the western part of the country were,...

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Un parcours sans faute?

En 1940, Winston Churchill promettait à ses concitoyens “du sang , du labeur, des larmes et de la sueur”. Dans sa lutte pour les droits civiques, Martin Luther King, avait un rêve. John F. Kennedy était un Berlinois dans la ville divisée. Lors de sa conférence, José Manuel Barroso nous a quant à lui proposé de la “résilience”. Un terme abscons? Sachez que les physiciens l’utilise pour décrire la propriété physique d’un matériau qui, après avoir subi un choc ou une pression, est capable de retrouver sa forme initiale. Comprenez donc “élasticité” ou “rebondissement”. Autant vous dire que nos petits yeux n’étaient...

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