“I am very passionate about the well-being of all students”
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Sloan Kudrinko and I am from Ottawa, Canada. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Honours Biology (B.S.c) from the University of Windsor. I also have my Masters of Management of Applied Science specializing in Global Health Systems in Africa (MMASc) from Western University. While attending the University of Windsor, I played for the Windsor Lancers Women’s Varsity Hockey Team where I gained extensive team building and leadership skills over the four years.
As part of my Masters at Western University, I had the opportunity to travel to Kampala, Uganda for four months. During my time in Kampala, I volunteered with a local dentist and a HIV research laboratory. Additionally, our team worked to create new food initiatives for local schools and studied different health care systems across the country. This opportunity allowed to me to understand different perspectives as well as think critically in different situations while meeting a variety of new people from around the world. I love to travel and explore new cultures and communities throughout the world, which is one of the reasons I am attending Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. Currently, I am entering my 4th year of the Dental Program where I have been the student representative for the International Semmelweis Student Association (ISSA) on behalf of my year since I began my studies.
How are you involved in EUniWell?
As one of the EUniWell student representatives for Semmelweis University I represent the primary interests of Semmelweis students and stay continually informed of items occurring at other universities. My team and I were successful in winning the 2nd Seed-Funding call for our project: The mental health symposium: exploring and enhancing mental health initiatives and resources. The members of my team are: Ingry Jabri, Izumi Yoshida, Hana Idelbi and Fatmeh Idelbi. The symposium will take place in 2022.
Lastly, I was recently selected to be an Executive Board Member to represent the EUniWell board and ensure student participation across the alliance.
Does a university alliance have any added value for students? If so, what is it?
Yes, it allows students to learn from other students with different educational and/or cultural backgrounds. This will create new and amazing experiences for individuals to grow and be successful in their future careers. While also providing life long relationships on a global level.
What's your motivation, why are you involved?
I am very passionate about the well-being of all students and believe in providing a positive environment for learning. EUniWell has developed a very innovative approach by pursuing shared knowledge across the alliance of Universities to incorporate best practices across school programs that I fully support. Enabling contributions from the many international students studying in different programs promotes education and awareness from distinct points of view.
How did you find out about the alliance?
In February 2020, the President of the International Semmelweis Student Association (ISSA) at Semmelweis University approached me regarding EUniWell as I had become an active member in ISSA and a volunteer at several events. She encouraged my participation stating that EUniWell would be something that would be of interest to me and she was 100% accurate. EUniWell is exactly the type of work that I want to incorporate in my future career while providing a positive environment for students from around the world.
If other students also want to get involved, what do you tell them?
First, I recommend that they approach the University’s local board and ask how they can get involved. Often student boards are looking for new members so this is a perfect place to start. Secondly, students can go to our website to search for their university and who they should contact. Lastly, if any students, researchers, educators or administrators have a project they believe in, we welcome them to submit their proposal in the next Seed Funding Call.
Tell me a little bit about your Seed Funding Project.
The purpose of the Mental Health Symposium is to emphasize the importance of mental health awareness amongst the EUniWell community, with the inclusion of staff, students and professors on a global and regional level. Throughout the year, students from each university will be asked to collect information focusing on specific aspects of mental health and well-being. Towards the end of the academic year, a three-day symposium will be held (online or in person). During this time, the consortium will enable the teaching, learning and exchanging of ideas regarding how mental health is addressed in the respective universities. Guest speakers in the fields of psychiatry, physical exercise, nutrition, stress and time management will be invited to the symposium. This will allow the consortium to incorporate new initiatives and ideas in their universities and enhance their schools’ mental health and well-being programs. Therefore strengthening the consortium’s mental health awareness and resources through sharing of ideas and knowledge.
What does EUniWell mean to you personally?
EUniWell is an amazing opportunity to assist with the betterment of academic life across the seven universities. I have always been interested in health, from being a student athlete to my Masters program focusing on global health systems. I believe that EUniWell is a unique opportunity to learn from each other, which will aid in the betterment of the student’s overall well-being. Well-being encompasses so many different aspects of a person’s life, which is another reason why EUniWell is unique, because it has a very open and inclusive ideology, which I strongly support.
If EUniWell asked your advice on its further development in the next 2 years - what would be your tip?
Promotion of EUniWell and how one can get involved can continually evolve and be improved. Potentially, having more outreach programs on different campuses encouraging student involvement can increase awareness. However, this was more of a challenge this year because of the pandemic; hopefully there will be the potential for more in-person promotions in the near future. One of the issues the recent pandemic has brought to light is the importance of overall student well-being. This is why enlarging EUniWell and the student involvement is very important. I am positive that EUniWell has the potential to grow and expand its outreach in the next two years to the benefit of many.
From your personal experience, in which areas does studying in Europe already work well? What are areas you see problems in, and what can European University Alliances, specifically EUniWell, contribute to resolving these?
Studying in Europe offers a unique opportunity to study and travel with more ease compared to studying in North America. This allows individuals studying in Europe to learn about different cultures more easily which aids in developing individuals outlook on life. It will allow people to think from multiple points of view and potentially allow them to become more open minded. This is why I believe everyone should travel, it opens one’s eyes to new ideas, concepts and perception. However, this could also be considered one of the challenges of studying in Europe. There is a vast number of different cultures, beliefs, languages and religions. This could be a challenge to some individuals, as one person could believe someone is being offensive, but in their culture how they are acting is accepted. This can make learning/working in Europe a challenge which is why knowledge and understanding of the different cultures is very important. Living in Europe is compelling because individuals have the opportunity to not only read about the different cultures and history that took place in textbooks, but they can go visit cities/countries via short train or plane ride. EUniWell and other European University Alliances can provide students with an opportunity to meet these challenges by offering educational opportunities to travel to different countries while still furthering their education.
Finally, a look to the future: studying in a networked Europe and world - how do you imagine it? What would be different from today?
In the future, I imagine that studying and doing research in different countries will be more easily transferrable. Therefore, if a student studies in one country, they can easily travel to another country without losing time in their original programs. Moreover, encouraging additional funding for students to study abroad will encourage international networking. Financial reason is a huge deterrent for many students to travel and study abroad. However, the emergence of online learning holds tremendous potential to reduce this deterrent and can increase the opportunity for students around the world to realize and share the benefits of a world class education.
Register for our Symposium “Good Practices on Student Well-Being”.
Find out more about the event here.
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