Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico
Johns Hopkins Universit ;

A year at Johns Hopkins

Forward Thinking series
Aki Ho

Third year Global Health & Social Medicine BSc

27 June 2022

As a forenote, I just wanted to mention that amidst this global pandemic, I have been extremely privileged to participate in the study abroad program at Johns Hopkins University. With COVID-19, there was much uncertainty about the program so I want to thank the department for the flexibility and the opportunity for me to follow through with this experience, as I felt the educational and social experience I was very fortunate to gain, was of significant value to my personal as well as professional growth.

At Hopkins, I had the opportunity to take a range of different classes, which turned out to be invaluable. I selected classes such as Clinical Neuropsychology, and Behavioral Neuroscience (as I study the BSc Neuroscience pathway), which enabled me to explore a section of this field that I did not have the opportunity to focus into previously. I also chose public health classes, Medical Humanitarianism and Global Health Policy which were more seminar/debate based classes, as well as a graduate class on U.S. Healthcare Systems from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Many of these class sizes were between 5–20 students so I really appreciated the opportunity to be able to get to know my professors on a professional as well as a personal level. Thus, the interdisciplinary choice of classes I was able to take complimented my academic interests in global health.

In addition to these classes, I had the chance undertake research in the second semester and extended it into the summer months. As Hopkins is a renowned research university, this was one of my main objectives while abroad, and it certainly lived up to its reputation. 90 per cent of students whom I got the opportunity to get to know here are doing some sort of research based work.

I worked as an undergraduate student research assistant in two ongoing projects alongside an extremely knowledgeable but welcoming team of clinicians and PhD students. The first is a clinical pilot study about Parkinson’s Disease and related diseases such as Lewy Body Dementia. The second is a study on possible rehabilitation methods for motor diseases.

I was provided with the necessary clinical and research methods training and certification to contribute firsthand to the research, and I was also fortunate to be working alongside a team that supported and tolerated my constant questions and gave me extra shadowing opportunities in their respective disciplines. This research opportunity was (and still is!) an incredibly challenging but gratifying work experience and I will probably forever credit it to helping me narrow down on future career goals.

Aki Ho (GHSM student) at Johns Hopkins University

In contrast to the university being integrated into the city like it is at King’s, a unique aspect of Hopkins was the campus life. During the summer days, it was common to see some classes being conducted outside at the Quads, and there were groups of students just relaxing or studying outside throughout the campus as well.

University wide events such as Hoptoberfest and Spring Fair always had lots of food, games and concerts, and were a great way to feel like part of the community. It was common to see different societies set up performances or fundraising events during such events as well as throughout the year, so the campus always has something going on. Although I was not too heavily involved in a single society, I had the opportunity to be part of the Cognitive Science Society ‘Omega Psi’, and I joined the Ultimate Frisbee team to get to know some of the students here.

In summary, this study abroad experience provided an invaluable opportunity for me to explore new career goals, while enabling me to further expand and apply the knowledge gained from my years at King’s. To top it off, I am sure that the memories I made with my friends here will be something I will treasure and for that, I am forever grateful.

Latest news