Q:Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS Public Health Study Tour?
It was the unique, hands-on nature of the PHST that drew me in. This isn’t something you experience in a typical classroom setting. My studies in Medical Science (majoring in Infectious Diseases) provided the foundation, but I knew this tour could give me a first-hand understanding of Public Health issues, especially in Indonesia’s context. Plus, it offered a chance to draw parallels and lessons for Bangladesh, my homeland, which added a personal aspect to my motivation.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
Yes, I was fortunate to receive the NCP grant. It played a substantial role in lightening the financial burden, enabling me to immerse myself in the Indonesian experience fully. Honestly, without the grant, I might not have had this life-changing opportunity.
Q: What did you find to be the most challenging about your experience on the PHST?
Transitioning from part-time study at the University of Sydney to the fast-paced two-week PHST was a challenge. I tackled this head-on by proactively researching and preparing myself, which I would advise future PHST students to do. Preparation is key!
Q: What public health issues in Indonesia have you become more interested in/aware of as a result of this tour?
The ‘Tobacco Children’ issue was discussed at great length during the seminars; however, witnessing the reality on the ground was a sobering and eye-opening experience. I acknowledge the efforts of the Indonesian government, but I think there is a discernible gap between policy and practice, presenting a complex Public Health issue.
Q: What was your favourite field trip?
Choosing one favorite is tough! If I had to, I’d go with our trip to the Waste Management TPS 3R in Kota Bogor, Jakarta – the maggots were oddly fascinating to watch and touch!
Q: How do you think the Public Health Study Tour will influence your future career or studies?
Firstly, the PHST marked my first real foray into Public Health. This two-week PHST was a turning point for me: before this, I only had a superficial understanding of Public Health, but now I feel inclined to pursue a career in this field. The potential to impact society on a larger scale is an opportunity I am eager to pursue.
Q:What did you most enjoy about the seminar series?
The seminars, led by esteemed UI Professors, were incredibly informative, covering a wide array of Public Health issues. The interactive nature of the seminars and the Q&A sessions enabled me to engage actively, promoting enriching discussions that greatly added to my learning experience.
Q: What was your favourite aspect about visiting Indonesia?
Exploring the less-touristy side of Indonesia was a real treat. I loved wandering the streets, absorbing the culture, and interacting with the locals – their kindness and hospitality were heartwarming! And, of course, my study buddies made superb tour guides, helping me to experience and appreciate the heart of Indonesia!