Studying Epidemiology online - Stefanie's story

Stefanie Kirchner, from Austria, is studying Epidemiology by distance learning. In this interview, Stefanie tells us what she loves about the programme and how it’s helping to shape her career.
Student surfing

Hi Stefanie, can you start by letting us know a bit about your background?

I hold a Master’s degree in Public Health and I am currently enrolled in the local PhD programme for Public Health where I am writing my thesis in mental health promotion.

So what made you decide to study LSHTM’s Epidemiology programme?

I wanted to continue my studies and specialise in Epidemiology. I had already looked at many different opportunities but LSHTM was the most attractive to me, as I love London and the English language. Furthermore, LSHTM was the only university which made it possible for me to study while still being employed somewhere.

This is the first programme where I am able to directly apply my knowledge without further practice or studying

How did you first hear about the programme?

I attended the European Public Health Conference where there was a stall for studies abroad. LSHTM was one of the universities promoting their distance learning programmes.

What have you enjoyed most about the programme so far?

My favourite aspect has definitely been the content so far. I have never learned as much about statistics as I have here. I also really appreciate the style of teaching and studying at LSHTM. This is the first programme where I am able to apply my knowledge directly without further practice or studying.

DL student Stephanie

What are the main skills you have gained?

So far, I have learnt a lot of statistical and scientific skills which have helped me in strengthening my paper writing skills in particular. Besides, I have also learned to be more patient with myself and more resilient to keep going and work hard to achieve my goals.

Has the programme helped you in your career?

The programme was one of the main reasons why I got my PhD position (besides having been convinced on a personal level). I hope that it will help me to get post-doc positions or opportunities to teach in the future.

How would you sum up your experience of studying by distance learning with LSHTM?

Studying with LSHTM can be very stressful and strenuous at times, but it is always these moments which make it worth in the end, and these moments are so special. This is the only programme which pushed me to my limits so often but this is also the only programme which is truly special to me. It has taught me so much and given me so many beautiful memories and experiences. I really enjoy studying with the LSHTM and I cannot wait for the years to come!

And finally, what do you enjoy doing when you’re not working or studying?

When I’m not working or studying I’m doing a lot of sports. I love to go out for a run, do yoga, dance or go climbing. I also love to travel and I love surfing. Unfortunately I am living in a country without any ocean access so I am bound to travel to places to go surfing! Of course, I also love meeting my friends and having a coffee with them.

Stefanie enjoys yoga and time by the ocean, which means travel away from landlocked Austria!

Hear from another Epidemiology student, Anne, about her experiences of studying the programme.