University of Copenhagen

14 March 2019

This summer, Beth Stinchcombe took part in the University of Copenhagen Global Health Challenges Summer School. She enjoyed the programme so much that she is considering returning for a MSc in Global Health.

Beth Stinchcombe, Human Sciences

This summer I was fortunate to take part in a summer school based at the University of Copenhagen on Global Health Challenges, which involved one week online learning before a more interactive two weeks at the University of Copenhagen with over sixty students and working professionals from all over the world.

The programme consisted of a wide range of fantastic speakers who were experts on a variety of topics such as communicable and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, globalisation politics and health as well as migration and mental health to name just a few. Some of the most interesting sessions were the lectures on Artic Health which addressed the topic of Tuberculosis and reasons for its high rate in Greenland at an incidence of 200 per 100,000 in comparison to countries such as Denmark with an incidence of 6.3 per 100,000. Furthermore the session on Global Surgery was really insightful as we learnt that there is a 96% gap in countries such as Sierra Leone with regards to the surgery that is needed and the surgery that is actually carried out and we also discussed the current solutions to this problem.

However this meant the schedule was quite intense with lectures from 9am to 5pm every weekday, but  it was also extremely engaging and we often had the opportunity to work in small groups during our ‘coffee and cake sessions’ where we would discuss ideas and potential solutions for the current most pressing issues in global health with each other. This really interesting as whilst the majority of participants were students they were also professionals working with organisations such as UAEM and UNFPA who had a wealth of experience we could learn from.


During my free time I was lucky to be able to explore the city which despite being a capital felt quite small and intimate especially in comparison to London – I managed to explore most of the popular tourist spots such as Tivoli Gardens, The Little Mermaid and my favourite, Nyhavn with its colourful buildings which lined the canal. In addition I also managed to visit some lesser known parts of the city as recommended by the Danish students on the course – such as certain streets that were well known for their shopping and cute cafes even though it was quite expensive!!

In addition, I found this course extremely relevant to my degree especially as Human Sciences is an interdisciplinary degree programme, as is global health thus it allowed me to embrace the multiple perspectives of the topics we learnt about. Furthermore, my dissertation topic is global health based so this programme gave me further insight into my topic which I can use as part of my research.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Copenhagen both the course and the city were amazing, so much so that I didn’t want to come back and I am considering applying to the University of Copenhagen to study their Msc in Global Health!  Furthermore, the University of Copenhagen itself has more than fifty summer schools from a wide range of academic disciplines and I am already thinking of applying for another one next year! Finally, I would recommend any student who has the opportunity to embrace the experience of a short term study abroad opportunity – you will not regret it.