Public Health Study Tour

Suvani Lamsal is a recipient from The University of Sydney. Suvani undertook the Public Health Study Tour in November-December 2022. Suvani is studying Master of Global Health.

Q:Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS Public Health Study Tour?

As I am doing a course in Global Health, I believed that this Public Health Study Tour will allow me to experience and apply things that I have been learning in my home university into practise. I also believed that this will be a good experience for me to get out of my comfort zone and network with other students who are in a similar boat as me.


Q: What did you find to be the most challenging about your experience on the PHST?

As PHST was only for two weeks, I found, especially the first week, to be very intensive. As I was experiencing new culture, making new friends, fighting jetlag, and also taking in the content from the seminars, there were times when I found it very overwhelming. However, after I got used to the schedule, it made the experience more enjoyable.


Q: What public health issues in Indonesia have you become more interested in/aware of as a result of this tour?

I didn’t know much about health issues in Indonesia before going, but I was shocked by how prevalent smoking is in Indonesian culture. Although there are smoking zones in Australia, having smoking and non-smoking rooms in hotels is uncommon. I was also taken aback by the price and packaging of cigarettes, as well as the lack of any age requirements for purchasing cigarettes. Furthermore, because smoking is a major risk factor for the majority of noncommunicable diseases, and the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases in Indonesia is increasing, this was something I grew more interested in as a result of this tour.


Q: What was your favourite field trip? 

Academically, one of my favourite field trip was when we went to the Puskesmas as it allowed me to see the Indonesian health system in detail and helped me to understand how comprehensive it is. I was very impressed by how convenient it is to have everything in one place, which made this field trip very memorable.

Personally, I really liked when we went to the Botanical gardens. It was one of my favourite excursions because I loved being surrounded by greenery but also because I got to drive the golf cart, which is something I will remember for the rest of my life.  As I was able to make memories with my new friends here, it is my favourite field trip.  It is one of my favourite trips as I loved that I was surrounded by greenery and I also got to drive the golf cart, which is something I will remember forever. I was able to make memories with my new friends here which is why it is my favourite field trip.


Q: How do you think the Public Health Study Tour will influence your future career or studies?

I genuinely think I have become more confident after participating in the Public Health Study Tour. It also really helped me improve my public speaking skills through two presentations, as well as it made me more flexible. I also think my knowledge on the Indonesian health systems improved immensely, which I can use in my career, especially if I end up working in Indonesia in the future.


Q:What did you most enjoy about the seminar series?

I particularly liked it when the speakers/ professors spoke from their experiences. That made it more relevant and intriguing to me. I also really appreciated how we could ask questions at the end of each seminar series, and even if we didn’t, we could write them down in the LMS. This allowed me to clear up any misunderstandings as the week progressed.


Q: What was your favourite aspect about visiting Indonesia?

Trying new foods, learning about the culture and how it affects health systems, and meeting some of the most incredible individuals. Every single person I encountered was friendly and respectful, which helped me step outside of my comfort zone. I also really liked going out with my friends in the evenings as well as learning new words in bahasa Indonesia every day.