Studying Global Health Policy online - Kelsey's story

Kelsey Yaremko, Global Health Policy by distance learning student from Canada, talks to us about her programme, studies and career.
Dental Hygiene in Guatemala - DL student Kelsey

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

I am from Calgary, Canada. I studied at the University of Alberta where I received a diploma in dental hygiene in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science degree with dental hygiene specialisation in 2009. Currently I work in private practice as a registered dental hygienist, where I am passionate about helping people achieve good oral health and a great smile. I am also a member of the board of directors and active volunteer with a charitable organization called Kindness In Action. We provide dental health services free of charge to those in need in many countries around the world.

Why did you decide to study Global Health Policy by distance learning with LSHTM?

Through my volunteer work I have truly become passionate not only about improving people’s oral health, but also making a positive impact with education and programmes working to assist those in need throughout the developing world. This passion led me study Global Health Policy, with the hope that becoming more educated myself would allow me to do more for others. As a busy professional who works different shifts weekly and travels often, studying by distance learning with LSHTM made the most sense for my lifestyle. Being able to complete my studies at my own pace from anywhere in the world while still receiving feedback from tutors and belonging to a community of students were the top reasons I chose this programme.

Kelsey conducts dental education through her volunteer work for children in Guatemala

How did you first hear about the programme?

Initially through a colleague, whose friend was a Global Health Policy student at the time. I had been considering going back to school for some time but had yet to come across a programme that spoke to my interests and intentions for a future career. When I discovered the programme and then found out it was offered by such an incredible and reputable institution I was thrilled, and started the application process almost immediately.

What have you enjoyed most about the programme so far?

The content of the courses has been incredibly interesting and relevant to today’s world issues. The modules I didn’t think I would enjoy or excel in turned out to be the exact opposite, with Economics of Global Health Policy being my favourite. All of the introductory modules have really sparked my interest and made me excited for modules to come. I have truly enjoyed my time studying with LSHTM thus far, and it has certainly exceeded my initial expectations.

The programme has given me the ability to think about and analyse world issues from not only a local perspective, but a national and global one as well

What skills have you gained from studying the programme?

The programme at LSHTM has given me the ability to think about and analyse world issues from not only a local perspective, but a national and global one as well. It has honed my critical reasoning and evaluation skills, as well as my research and written word abilities. Most of all I would say that the programme has given me the confidence to pursue my true interests, while providing me with a network of great colleagues and opportunities.

Any plans for after you complete your studies?

As I am still a while away from completing my studies, I haven’t given too much thought about what I will be pursuing after I am finished. I enjoy my clinical work as a dental hygienist, but would ideally like to work more regularly in the non-profit sector, and volunteering abroad has allowed me to help people at the ground level. In the future I would like to foray into the policy world, where I can have a greater impact on creating positive change for people’s health.

Kelsey loves exploring new places like Peru and India, or staying closer to home in the Rocky Mountains

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

It has been an interesting and exciting roller coaster. I was so overwhelmed, nervous and quite frankly terrified to go back to school when I started that I really didn’t think I would be successful. With hard work and perseverance and some confidence bumps along the way I overcame the nerves and became much more secure in my abilities. I have really enjoyed learning at my own pace, as it has given me the freedom to have a life outside of school and continue to pursue activities that inspired me to study Global Health Policy in the first place.

Finally, please tell us a bit more about you – what do you do when you’re not working or studying?

Travelling is my greatest passion. There is nothing I love more than getting off an airplane in a foreign country and experiencing everything a new culture has to offer. My personal goal is to try and make myself truly uncomfortable at least once a year through new and different experiences, which reminds me to always remain humble and grateful. I also love exercising to clear my head and inspire focus for my studies. Living near the Rocky Mountains I also enjoy taking road trips and getting out in nature whenever I can.

Hear from another Global Health Policy student, Molly, about her experiences of studying the programme.