"The skills I learn during the Master of Public Health will be very important when I work as a public health professional in the future... My dream is to work overseas for several years and bring back innovative ideas and my valuable experience to address the public health issues that Taiwan faces."
Elaine started the Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne in 2019, after completing her nursing studies at Chang Gung University and working as a nurse in Taiwan.
"Six years ago, I travelled to Melbourne alone to study English and travel for one and a half months. My experience in Melbourne was so fantastic that I decided to complete my further studies here."
The University of Melbourne’s global reputation in clinical, pre-clinical and health studies was one of the reasons Elaine chose the Master of Public Health. The University of Melbourne not only gives students access to an enormous network of academic and industry professionals, but also a community of like-minded peers.
"As a clinical practitioner, working on the frontline, I realised the things I can do are limited. In contrast, a strategy or a policy may influence a large population, a society or even a whole nation. We need to use more efficient methods to address public health challenges."
Elaine describes her participation in student volunteering as a key highlight in her Melbourne journey so far.
"During orientation, our professors and senior students had described the importance of volunteering or interning in a related field to our future career, especially for someone with no experience in public health."
Elaine has been involved in volunteer organisations such as the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) and student-run events like the Melbourne University Health Initiative’s AusWHO simulation of an actual World Health Organization (WHO) Conference.
"Frankly speaking, the language barrier is still the most difficult problem for me. At the AusWHO conference I had a lot of ideas, but it was tricky for me to clearly and concisely express myself. Although I felt frustrated, I was also inspired and encouraged by the event and fellow participants.
"By being a volunteer, I get to meet many people who also have similar interests, and also am effortlessly getting myself involved in Australian culture."
The Master of Public Health cohort stands out to Elaine as one with incredible diversity.
"My classmates come from over 34 difficult cultural backgrounds and over 24 diverse professional backgrounds. We are keen to make an effort in improving health in our society.
"I consider the interpersonal relationships and dynamic cultural experiences my favourite part of studying at the University of Melbourne. The skills I learn during the Master of Public Health will be very important when I work as a public health professional in the future."
Elaine is interested in the fields of health policy, health economy and global health.
"My dream is to work overseas for several years and bring back innovative ideas and my valuable experience to address the public health issues that Taiwan faces. An aging population and extremely low birth rate are the most urgent public health problems amongst the Taiwanese. One day, I hope to lead a team of professionals to mitigate these problems."