group in front of map of Africa

Over summer 2016, I completed a four week placement at University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. During the first week I attended the Global Health Fellows Programme jointly organized by ICL and UCT which I strongly recommend. The Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine kindly hosted me for further research and collaborations for the following three weeks.

Within the Global Health Fellows Programme I was part of a group of approximately 30 students from Imperial College, University of Cape Town and other entities in Africa. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn from other people’s cultures and experiences. I would like to emphasize the generosity of African students, especially from rural areas, whose main reason to pursue a PhD is to improve quality of life in nearby villages. From the collaboration, I gained insights about current research projects within the department of medicine at UCT and the health system in South Africa. Thankfully, interesting proposals for further collaboration were identified and I might be back some day… fingers crossed!

Since not all is work… life in Cape Town is very different to what we are used to in London. People are generally very welcoming, helpful and chatty; the word rush is not in their dictionary. We spent some time exploring the city which is simply amazing, especially to practise outdoors activities. Among my favourites were incredible hikes in Table Mountain and outstanding surf beaches. In addition, make time for the garden route, an amazing road trip to enjoy nature and wild life. For food enthusiasts,there is a wide variety of exotic meats and seafood at really affordable prices. For wine enthusiasts… more than 250 wineries to visit, may your livers survive the trip!

"“Undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life that, not only helped me grow both personally and academically, but offered me with great friendships”"