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Una Europa's One Health Summer School: 'interactive and very engaging'

Sam Hundersmark is taking a Master's in Population Health Management at Leiden University. Because Leiden University is part of the Una Europa alliance, Sam was able to join the 2023 edition of Una Europa’s One Health Summer School. He enjoyed meeting people from different disciplines and learning more about the One Health concept.

Why did you apply to join the One Health Summer School?

I’m interested in planetary health and One Health. I want to focus on these topics in my studies, so when I saw the One Health Summer School I was triggered. I decided to apply because it sounded interesting. It was nearby, at KU Leuven, and I could earn 3 ECTS credits for participating.

What was a typical day like?

We mostly started with lectures. Experts discussed problems or topics in their fields and we could ask them questions. At the end of the day, we were in workshops. We tackled case studies or discussed problems and presented our solutions. It was interactive and very engaging.

All universities that are part of the Una Europa circle were involved. There were people from around the world, all studying in Europe. I met people from Kenya, China, Nigeria and South America. It was cool to bring these perspectives together, and useful for the case studies because it gave us deeper understanding.

What did you most enjoy about the experience?

There were a lot of different disciplines involved: people with a background in medicine or population health management, like me, and those studying public health, psychology, biology, and ecology. The Summer School brings all these people together to tackle health problems or topics. You deepen your understanding of problems in different regions and how they are relevant from a One Health perspective.

I also really enjoyed the social aspect. We had dinner together most nights and we created a WhatsApp group. It allows you to get to know each other beyond the official sessions.

Do you recommend the One Health Summer School to other students?

Yes! For me, the most prominent reason to go is to meet people from different disciplines and areas of the world. One Health focuses on problems happening across borders that affect us all, like climate change and zoonotic disease. It requires international collaboration and that is what we did when tackling case studies.

You will also learn more about One Health itself. I enjoyed looking at problems with a helicopter view, using systems thinking. It allows you to see what is needed to tackle these problems in their entirety.

Get involved with Una Europa!

Students: Una Europa has many opportunities for you! Take a course, become a Una Europa Student Board member or join the Local Student Task Force. Learn more about the possibilities on our Una Europa Leiden page.

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