The second annual information day for international students entering the master of public health program was held on Friday, June 25 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Approximately 80 of the new MPH students are from countries outside of the U.S. This informal session, conducted by students for students, originated with Dr. Chuka Anude from Nigeria (MPH ‘07), a current epidemiology doctoral student and Sommer Scholar, as a forum for addressing international students' needs and concerns regarding life in Baltimore and starting a new academic program in a different setting.
Dr. Peter Okebukola (Nigeria) and Dr. Ivy Mwangi (Kenya) provided an overview of life at the School and in Baltimore. This was followed by information sessions on basic needs such as telephones, banking, official forms of identification and public transportation by Ms. Tara Watsa (India); getting involved in the Baltimore community and service-learning activities by Ms. Aita Amaize (Taiwan); academic culture by Dr. Chuma Mbaeyi (Nigeria); networking by Dr. Yusheng Zhang (China); and midcareer perspective by Dr. Armid Azadeh (Namibia). New students were assigned peer mentors from recent MPH international alumni who led them in small group discussions over lunch and provided walking tours of the campus. Weekend activities included bus trips to Asian and African food markets, as well as department stores prior to the school's formal academic orientation the next week. The event was coordinated by Mr. Paul Whong, senior manager of the MPH program office.
“The recent international graduates of the MPH program are the very best sources of information and advice for incoming international students,” said Dr. Marie Diener-West, chair of the MPH program and professor of biostatistics. “The goal of this day was to facilitate international students' transitions to Hopkins and Baltimore and allow them to focus on their academic success and opportunities.”
For a summary of the students' demographics and countries of origin, click here.