Sonia's path to public health professional by studying online

Sonia from Italy studies Public Health by Distance Learning. She is now in her second year and updates us on her journey so far, the network she has been building and provides tips to identify the perfect LSHTM distance learning programme for yourself.
Sonia Colianni

If you’re reading this blog I assume you look exactly like me during spring 2022, when I was searching to enhance my knowledge in public health and obtain a master’s degree. I felt overwhelmed by the vase of educational options and schools everywhere and I was disoriented. Until one day, I read about LSHTM, and my eyes stopped!

‘Finally an educational course that fits my dream and professional plans!’ I thought.

Why did I choose LSHTM?

I am now a second-year Public Health by Distance Learning student. After learning about LSHTM and the possibility of studying by distance learning, I had no doubts about applying because of its reputation, high-quality educational programmes and the convenience of studying from home. Now, almost two years after my programme started, I still consider the Public Health by Distance Learning programme as the best investment that I could have decided to do in my whole life.

Is the programme useful and enjoyable?

The educational programme of my course is rich in super interesting modules and each day I learn more and more. Furthermore, I discovered some public health topics that I did not know at all before starting my studies.

But one great aspect that makes this distance learning course the one that you need to choose, is the numerous fellow students that you will have from all parts of the globe. I really enjoy speaking with many of them and exchanging opinions about specific public health topics, this is helping me expand my professional network but mostly to elaborate new points of view and understand the multiple public health needs worldwide.

When do I study?

I can choose when to study and for how many hours. Since all lessons are available to watch online in the Public Health programme, I can watch them in my free time and handle my commitments. Furthermore, LSHTM provides all the study materials on the digital platform Moodle. You don’t need to carry heavy reference books and reading materials with you so even if you travel often you can really study from anywhere.

Sonia Colianni
Sonia Colianni

What is the most difficult part of studying remotely?

Of course, as with any other life experience, new life chapters can be challenging at the beginning! I started to study for my public health master’s after exactly 9 years since I obtained my first degree (in Pharmacy!) in 2013. To start studying again after so many years was not easy, and not having daily face-to-face contact with other students and teachers was giving me often a sense of loneliness.

Any medicine for that? Sure! I am a pharmacist and so I have a solution for every problem! Jokes apart… the support provided by other fellow students and by the School remotely made me feel every day stronger and stronger for reaching my target, to become, one day, a public health professional!

My career goals

I wish to work as a public health professional and help people. This programme has let me know the many different sanitary realities worldwide and the huge need for public health interventions especially in developing countries.

There is a lot to do and I am ready! So how about you? Stop one moment, close your eyes, breathe and ask yourself, ‘What’s my dream?’

A few tips for you who are reading

LSHTM offers a few distance learning programmes, and each programme consists of specific modules which will shape your future as a professional. I strongly suggest you take your time to read closely all the material that the School can provide you, I’m sure you will find these resources very useful and these will make clearer your intentions for your future.

Please do not think that studying remotely is equal to taking your degree easily. The academic path is full of knowledge that needs to be digested, LSHTM is ranked very highly and the experience can be challenging but it’s worth it, 100%!