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Harry Coleman

Alumnus Global Health

"I’m originally from Leeds in the north of England. I did my Bachelor’s at the University of Liverpool and after graduating, my girlfriend and I decided we’d like a change of scenery outside the UK. I wanted to study more and was luckily accepted at the VU."

"I chose this programme as it had an explicit interdisciplinary (in fact, transdisciplinary) focus and offered skills training in both quantitative and qualitative methods. The programme is quite enlightened in this way, and the Athena Institute, who offer the master’s, are an interesting bunch of epistemological misfits (a group in which I would hope to now class myself). As a two-year programme, you also have two opportunities (one each year) to conduct a research internship. Both of these were invaluable for actually ‘becoming’ a global health researcher."

"The master’s programme was challenging, but I also greatly enjoyed the programme’s focus on group assignments. You quickly make friends with your class mates given how much time you spend working on projects together. During that time, I also had the pleasure of discovering Amsterdam and how to make a home in a new country."

"During my master’s, I worked as a student assistant, which was great for making money to live, but also for getting more professional experience in research. Upon graduation, this work naturally led to a junior researcher position in the department."

"Now I work in the health systems strengthening (HSS) team at KIT. KIT, more broadly, works on international development projects, providing research and knowledge services, such as conducting evaluations or providing policy advice. I’m currently the principal investigator for a multi-country study looking at the effects of COVID-19 on frontline health workers in their service delivery for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). There are a ridiculous amount of acronyms."

"If you are planning on trying to find a place to live that isn’t University accommodation – as I did – then realise: i) finding a ‘first’ house in Amsterdam is hard as an outsider, and ii) finding friends is more difficult in this situation, as you’ll be outside the University accommodation bubble. So, read as much as you can about finding a house (Facebook groups are good for first timers), and invest in making friends during the start of your study, either inside or outside the course. While a lot of your time will be taken up by your studies, you will need a safety net of friends to help you through the hard times and someone to enjoy the good times with."

"I chose this programme as it had an explicit interdisciplinary focus and offered skills training in both quantitative and qualitative methods."