Two of HEARD’s doctoral candidates jetted off to Sweden this week, to participate in an intensive programme at the prestigious University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Patience Bulage and Sarah Khanakwa, who are part of the HEARD PhD programme, will join Public Health Science masters classes at the university’s medical school; Sahlgrenska Academy. The trip is part of a research partnership between Sahlgrenska Academy and HEARD, funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT).

Bulage said she was eager to see how the instruction differs from classes in her and Khanakwa’s home country Uganda, and South Africa- where they are currently studying at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. “I’m really looking forward to experiencing how things are done there…to have an international experience,” she said. During their week-long stay, they will present their research. “We have presented our research many times so we’re not really nervous, we are more worried about time but we are well prepared,” said Bulage.

With students from more than 30 different countries at the Academy, Bulage and Khanakwa will be exposed to a wide array of perspectives. They also arrive just in time for the 5th annual Swedish Network for International Health (SNIH) conference, established to connect public and global health students and professionals. “I’m looking forward to working with global experts in research and taking my work beyond (African) borders. The whole trip will be a big step towards building my network of professionals who are also passionate about contributing to public health,” said Khanakwa.

Bulage said she was eager to see snow for the first time and while they are both bracing themselves for the sub-zero temperatures. They believe this will be an opportunity of a lifetime.