Rachel Karsten

Rachel Karsten

Research Student

Rachel Karsten

Master of International Public Health (MIDI)

Mode of study: Part-time; External by Distance

Country: Australia

Previous Education: Bachelor of Nursing

Prior to enrolling into the Masters of International Public Health I volunteered as a nurse and manager of an orphanage in South Africa. My experience during this time motivated me to study further, to extend both my knowledge and skills in the health profession to reach those that are impoverished, vulnerable and suffering the greatest health inequalities. 

Most important thing learned

The most important thing that I have learnt from my studies is that health is ever evolving and as health professionals, we need to continually adapt our approach to health promotion and public health in order to meet the needs of people within the context of their social, cultural and economic environment. 

Most challenging thing

The most challenging thing about my studies was managing my time. Balancing work, home life and studies was difficult. I had my two children during the course of my degree and continued to study and work. However, I am a firm believer that if you work hard for something, you can achieve your goals.   

Enjoyed the most

I enjoyed the simplicity of being an external student. I could engage in the course work according to my personal weekly schedule and work at my own pace. I also enjoyed the diverse experiences of other students enrolled into the course and how their knowledge became a resource for my own learning. 

Message to newly commencing students

My message to newly commencing students is to just give it a go. Studying a postgraduate degree comes with the challenge of balancing an array of life commitments. However once you settle into life as a student and the demands of study, it is such an exciting educational journey.

How degree will assist in your career

My degree has given me a greater understanding of how to empower and encourage people to have agency over their own health, which I believe is key for public health and health promotion. It has taught me how to critically evaluate evidence-based research and how to interpret data relating to epidemiology. It is my hope that I will be able to use all that I have learnt to make a difference in the health of individuals living in developing countries.