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Honours Public Health Co-op at University of Waterloo

Akshaya (Year2)

What did you wish you knew before going to your university? What made you choose this institution over all others? What are advantages and disadvantages of your institution or campus? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your university. 

The program is multidisciplinary b/c we combine science courses with social sciences which helps broaden our understanding of health & wellbeing. Also, being in co-op provides us with the opportunities & resources to gain experience in various PH fields such as public policy, epidemiology, gerontology etc. Public health at Uwaterloo is one of the smaller programs and we are a close-knit community where student-prof interactions are more common during lectures due to small class sizes & small tutorial groups. We also have 7.5 units of electives where we can choose courses from other disciplines & explore our interests.

What did you wish you knew before choosing your specific program? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your program?  List any advice for incoming first-year students about your program of study.

Time management is a skill that really comes into play in university. Creating a schedule/to-do list each week and writing out goals makes the learning process more efficient  as there are several deadlines & assessments for each course happening at once.

What was your favourite university experience? 

My best experience is AHS O-week. Orientation is one of the best opportunities to make new friends, public health is one of the smaller UW programs and AHS o-week helped me find program friends that I have become very close with. We played games representing our faculty and got the chance to speak to upper-year o-leaders! O-week created an environment that made making friends less intimidating. I am so grateful for this experience!

What was your least favourite university experience?

There is one mandatory online class called AHS 150 in 1st yr that requires a great extent of self-teaching & that is a burden for students new to the university lifestyle.

What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?

There is a lot of research involved in our assignments and time management is key to get everything done. I feel that the environment I am studying in is very important to my level of productivity, during exams I spent most of my time during the day at DC library. 

If you were able to take electives, what was your favourite elective? If you were not able to take electives, what was your favourite course and why?

Hlth 245: This is a mandatory 1st-year course for PH students. This course covers government health policies and compares various healthcare models. It also covers the history of Canadian healthcare, how our universal healthcare system came to be and the various methods through which it is financed.



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