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Bishal Gyawali

PhD Student, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University

I am from Nepal, a small landlocked Himalayan country and am currently a PhD student at the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University.

I have always been passionate for travelling to new places, making new friends and discovering new cultures. So, I took the decision of studying a master abroad. Because of my excellent academic profile, I managed to receive the ‘Danish State Scholarships’ to study Master of Public Health at University of Southern Denmark in the fall of 2012. This provided me with the unique opportunity to spend my time in Denmark - the happiest country in the world.

My first contact with Aarhus University dates back to 2015 when I contacted Associate Professor Dr. Per Kallestrup at the Department of Public Health to get into a PhD position. I got to know about him because of his various research works in primary care settings in various resource-constrained settings, including Nepal. My happiness knew no bound when he accepted my PhD proposal and agreed to become my principal supervisor. As per his recommendation, I applied for a PhD study at Aarhus University under the Talent Development Scholarships - a fully funded PhD scholarships from the Graduate School of Health. I was thrilled to find out, a few months later, that I had been accepted on to my dream programme with full scholarships. Thanks to this scholarship, which helped me to fully concentrate on my PhD. Due to my keen interest in the field of public health, Aarhus University ranked at the top of my choices, as Aarhus - a city of smiles - offered the ideal environment for doing PhD.

Aarhus University has all conditions that are necessary for students and researchers and my experience as an international student has been very positive. Working in a lab and interacting with several scholars during lectures provided me with an excellent educational experience. Further, I was fortunate enough to take courses from such highly qualified and experienced professors at the university. I was also fascinated by the methods of teaching and the lectures at the university, which were very different from what I had experienced in my home country. Most of the time problem-based learning approach was used where students work together in small groups to find solutions to a complex problem. This practical and innovative approach in the education system is what makes the university a world class choice for international students like me.

All in all, Aarhus is a delightful to city to live in. Located right by the sea, there are many places to visit in this lovely city, including old museums, cathedrals and theaters. The people are very friendly and helpful and the presence of students from different backgrounds and cultures make it a large international community.

Aarhus University definitely proved to be the best choice I could have made for my PhD studies. My time in Aarhus will no doubt remain one of the most profoundly enriching experiences in my life. I am very much looking forward to returning to in the future-may be as a post-doctoral fellow or a faculty.