They come from Albania, Bangladesh, Spain, Indonesia or Guatemala and have chosen UNamur to specialize in clinical research as part of the EMOTION Master. Trip around the world and Belgium through their eyes.
This article is also available in French in the March 2021 Omalius issue (p.9).
EMOTION, a highly qualifying European master’s degree in biomedical sciences
At the end of August 2020, 10 students from the prestigious Erasmus Mundus program arrived at UNamur to follow the "Clinical Research Management" module of the EMOTION Master in Biomedical Sciences organized by Professor Jean-Pierre Gillet within the Faculty of Medicine of the UNamur. Created in 2019, this European master’s degree is taught in English. It focuses on research and development in biomedical sciences and includes high transversal skills.
Among the 17 students who followed a first academic year 2019-2020 in Italy, 10 chose to come to the UNamur in 2020-2021. That was without counting on a certain virus... Travel restrictions, health rules, online classes and extra-student activities canceled. Not easy, in a pandemic context!
What they say about their experience
In addition to the measures related to Covid-19 and the courses, which had to be held remotely for the most part, all express the same difficulty linked to the change of culture from their countries of origin. But they agree on the welcome they received and the chance to participate in face-to-face in the orientation program (1) offered by our International Relations department. On the program: French and English lessons, visits to Namur and its surroundings, social and cultural activities. Another difficulty is the climate. With her sorrows - rain and cold - and her joys... Margareta made one of her dreams come true: to see snow. "What a pleasure to see the big snowflakes fall and the very next day have my first snowman and my first snowball fight at 27! "
Unanimously, thumbs up for their accommodation: the residence for visiting researchers located at 75, rue de Bruxelles, which housed a total of 21 Erasmus students. Irene sums up: "During our stay we got to know people from different backgrounds and cultures, interact in different languages, share our experiences, support each other and thus never feel isolated."
And then all the other little joys... Rebeka : "This international environment was really great! In addition, I particularly enjoyed the Belgian culture, the fantastic food and the visit of Belgium during our city trips to the beautiful cities of Brugges, Brussels, Antwerp and Dinant". Dita : "Being in the heart of the city is great! The beautiful little streets of Namur and the Saturday morning market, my favorite moment of the week and, icing on the cake, the waffles and fries to take away! " Galib also liked the fries, but also the beer and even more chocolate. This is why he tells his friends: "God could not create heaven on earth, but he gave us Belgian chocolates, and that is almost heaven! "
All also underline the quality of the teaching and the resources available in Namur and the chance to participate in this master. Galib : "We were fortunate to have regular classes rather than online at the start of the semester. Since our Masters is focused on clinical research, we were delighted to have teachers from different hospitals and research organizations, who helped us to better prepare as professionals". "And Rita adds:" The experience of the EMOTION Master has been very exciting! The universities involved in the program have an excellent pool of teachers, innovative facilities and equipment to adapt to constant change while providing quality research. They fully educated their students in an open-minded environment, and also enabled them to acquire transversal and transferable skills."
The EMOTION master trains the next generation of Research and Development (R&D) leaders in dermatology and dermacosmetics. The global market for drugs and cosmetics in the world exceeds two trillion euros, of which 10% concern only skin disorders.
Compared to traditional masters, EMOTION offers multidisciplinarity and professionalizing specialties, whether in business management aspects, biotechnology or aspects of clinical and industrial practices in a sector in short supply. The employment rate at the end of these studies is 100%!
Tirana, Albania - Land of Eagles
Rebeka Shkurti is from Korçë, Albania, a mountainous country on the Balkan Peninsula. She currently lives in the capital, Tirana, which she describes as frantic. Albania’s historic past has made it a melting pot of cultures but the authenticity is preserved thanks to a unique language and legendary hospitality and sense of honor.
Dhaka, Bangladesh - Land of Rivers
Galib Muhammad Abrar Ishtiaque comes from Bangladesh, a small country in Southeast Asia. He was born and raised in the capital, Dhaka, a famous city of mosques, also known as one of the most populous in the world.
Barcelona, Spain - The Catalan
Irena Martínez was born in Barcelona and now lives in Cambrils, on the shores of the Mediterranean. She describes herself as energetic, passionate and determined. She loves her region, her identity and her language as well as the food, the climate and the Catalan quality of life.
Indonesia - The 13,000 islands
Dita Malia Wijanarko currently lives in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, but is originally from Padang, a hillside town renowned for its beautiful beaches. Margareta Anindya Christianti , also Indonesian, is from the university city of Yogyakarta. Indonesia, well known for its many tourist spots, is a transcontinental country mainly located in Southeast Asia, made up of 13,000 islands including Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Bali and Papua New Guinea.
Guatemala City, Guatemala - Land of the Mayas
Rita Bran lives in Guatemala City, Central America. A country of great ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity, with strong ancestral traditions mixed with Spanish influences. A country with a tropical climate and dazzling landscapes, with its volcanoes, mountains, and beaches bordering the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.