Published: 23-01-2024 17:19 | Updated: 23-01-2024 17:20

Laura-Alina is studying KI's Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Public Health in Disasters

The Master's programme is a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet, Universidad de Oviedo in Spain and the University of Nicosia in Cyprus.

Laura-Alina Fabich during one of the internships in the Master's programme.
Laura-Alina Fabich during one of the internships in the Master's programme. Photo: Privat

Laura-Alina Fabich is currently in Lima, Peru where she is doing her internship at the Pan American Health Organization at WHO. She is in the third semester of the programme and has already spent a semester in Oviedo, Spain, where she studied risk assessment and natural disasters, and a semester at KI where the focus was on health interventions in disasters.

Laura-Alina Fabich. Photo: Privat

How did you come to study disasters? 

“I´m interested in disasters and natural disasters, especially those that occur in conflict-affected environments and are caused by humans in some way. I had also worked in search and rescue and wanted to learn more about humanitarian issues, which this Master's programme focuses on. This is something I missed during my previous studies”, says Laura-Alina Fabich.

Can you tell us briefly about your background? 

“I studied Global Nutrition and Health at the University of Copenhagen where I also did exchange studies on human rights. I also have a few years of experience working in humanitarian settings, mainly in search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. I then did a one-year internship at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) before joining the Erasmus Mundus Master's Programme in Public Health and Disasters.”

What do you think has been the best part of the programme so far?

“For me, the strength of the programme is its international environment and the privilege of studying with students from different backgrounds and different disciplines. Everyone brings different perspectives and insights, which has been the most rewarding part of the programme for me. A great advantage is also that most of our lecturers, even those with different backgrounds, are active in the field and work for research institutes, organisations or the UN. For example, we have had lecturers from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), The Red Cross, Internews, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to name a few."

Do you know what you want to do after your studies?

“This summer I worked with a health network called Cecosesola in Venezuela. This experience inspired me to want to research self-organised health actors and I plan to do a PhD next. I also hope to work with international NGOs such as Oxfam or Doctors Without Borders in conflict and disaster-affected environments in the future.”

About the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Public Health in Disasters

  • The Master programme is interdisciplinary and a collaboration between the University of Oviedo in Spain, the Medical University of Nicosia in Cyprus and Karolinska Institutet. 
  • It is KI's only Erasmus Mundus Master Programme. 
  • The programme provides students with an understanding of how disaster risk can be prevented, and how targeted public health initiatives can be used in disasters and disaster preparedness.
  • Students can apply for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship which covers participation fees and is a grant for travel, installation and subsistence costs throughout the study programme. 
  • Applications for the programmes are open until 31 January 2024