I applied to attend the Global Health and Innovation Conference because I wanted the opportunity to learn about global health in a setting outside of Western’s lecture halls. The conference exceeded my expectations. As a health studies student, I haven’t been exposed to what’s out there in terms of organizations and careers that relate to what I’m studying.
The conference hosted countless professionals in the field of global and public health, which gave me a much better idea of what I could be doing with my degree after I graduate. It was also nice to hear the speakers talking about health promotion and the social determinants of health, because I was able to connect their work with my own knowledge of these topics from my two years in the health studies program. I loved that the conference offered sessions that were unique and varied. Some of my favourite sessions were ones that my friends picked out but I hadn’t initially planned on going to, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them. For example, I have little interest in architecture but I attended a talk about how the design of a hospital influenced the health of its patients, and I thought it was incredibly interesting! As a health studies student, I feel very privileged that I was able to attend the conference. I am in contact with professionals whose organizations I am interested in working or volunteering for, I’ve gained knowledge of public health that I can apply to my own studies, and I’ve made friends with a great group of people in my program. It was inspiring to meet such interesting professionals and students with innovative ideas designed to promote and advance global health. GHIC was an amazing experience and I hope this opportunity is available to health studies students in the years to come!