1 year studying MSc Reproductive & Sexual Health Research - Throwback by Yi-Shin5 October 2023 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine https://lshtm.ac.uk/themes/custom/lshtm/images/lshtm-logo-black.png
My passion for reproductive and sexual health stemmed from my love and pursuit of feminist philosophy but not knowing where this love would lead me to. In my undergraduate, I majored in philosophy and minored in medical sciences. I thought public health was the middle ground of it, and the diverse research groups and faculties that LSHTM hosts had thus drawn me here! The idea of moving to London for my master for a year was daunting to me, because before LSHTM, I had never visited, let alone lived, in London.
My time in LSHTM was very fast-paced and fully packed with module after module, many of which I was not familiar with. I had to say I did struggle in the statistical aspects of the modules, but I was also very grateful for all the help from the staff and my lovely colleagues.
During Term 1, my favourite module was Foundations in Reproductive Health. Knowledge itself was novel and invigorating. What made me really liked about it was the passionate faculties in lectures, and how they described the singularity of reproductive health in the realm of public health and epidemiology. I made some very good new friends outside of my programme in Extended Epidemiology. Modules like Sexual Health and Social Epidemiology were my biggest takeaways, and the inspirations they brought to me were just the start! These modules made me realise that public health and epidemiology were always more than STATA and data collection. It is critical to think about the societal aspect, and how best to understand, describe, measure, approach it, and make it resonate across disciplines.
I now reflected on my three terms here in LSHTM, I’d say friends were absolutely a huge part of my everyday routine. We hung out at Pumphandle Bar on a Thursday or Friday afternoon after lectures or library study sessions, or grabbed Korean food, bagel or Swedish pastry off Tottenham Court Road and Soho. Holding gatherings, picnics, or going to house parties when there were festivities, terms were over, or the weather was good. Going to school in central London is a big plus, there were so many times I could just go to the National Theatre, Old Vic, Royal Opera House or West End for theatres and operas – and they are all within walking distance. Living in London is a geographic advantage when it comes to travelling. I’m fortunate to have found cheap tickets and have friends in different European countries to travel to Paris, Lyon, Málaga, Helsinki and Dresden throughout the term time and holidays! Being a student ambassador gave me the chance to meet and chat with prospective applicants and students from around the world who have the same passion towards public health.
Coming to Term 2 and Term 3, everyone was slowly trying to get on hold of their summer project. I am beyond grateful to have Clare Chandler, who is the principal investigator of Antimicrobials in Society (AMIS), to supervise my summer project. It was a very reflecting and invigorating experience to sit through and discuss back and forth with Clare throughout the summer. August 2023 was a long, difficult month of toil, but I am also full of gratitude to have been surrounded by supportive friends and faculties. This year in LSHTM has taught me a lot about public health, social sciences, myself, friendship, starting a project from ground zero and living in London.
I plan to stay in London to embark on my early career in reproductive and sexual health. Life in London is full of uncertainties and challenges, and I am ready to take on the challenge along with my friends that I have made throughout this year in LSHTM.