Lonneke Taks is a student in the MSc in Global Health program. Originally from Prinsenbeek in the Netherlands, Taks has joined 8 other exchange students from Maastricht University for the program's winter term. Last year, she completed a Bachelor in Health Sciences degree, with a major in Prevention & Health. During her undergraduate studies, she had the opportunity to do a minor at the University of Adelaide, Australia. “This was en eye-opening experience for me,” she explains, “as I’m particularly interested in how health issues are dealt with in other parts of the world.”
Upon finishing her Bachelor’s degree, Taks volunteered at a women’s health centre in Maastricht, before completing a 3 month-project on HIV/AIDS awareness in Malaysia, and then working as an intern at a Dutch company specializing in occupational health and lifestyle/vitality.
Last September, she began the Master’s program in Global Health and has since learned about various aspects of global health, and the specific areas in which she would like to focus in the future. “During the first courses of this study I discovered I’m especially interested in global governance and the global actors in the field of health,” she says. “McMaster offered courses that were greatly linked to this field, so I decided to come to Hamilton.”
During her winter term, Taks expects to learn from the different perspectives of the professors and students here, and hopes to be able to explore a bit of Canada. So far, the experience has been extremely positive. “Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful. The campus is certainly larger than Maastricht but the student life is comparable,” she notes. She believes the experience will provide a “refreshing contrast” to her studies in Maastricht, and looks forward to the rest of her stay.