My visit to the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands was the greatest experience of my life as an early career academic. The Making Clinical Sense Project contributed tremendously to the completion of my Doctor of Philosophy thesis.
Maastricht University provided a congenial atmosphere for me to work on my thesis towards its final completion. I was given an office space with a computer and very good internet access to work. This was really helpful during my two month stay at Maastricht (April and May 2023).
I had the opportunity to meet and engage with great scholars from diverse disciplines of Anthropology, History, Technology Studies, Globalization and Development. My interactions with them created an opportunity to network for future collaborations. On weekly basis, I had regular meetings with scholars and shared my work and research experience with them and got very positive feedbacks from them. I also learnt from the work and research experiences of these scholars which has expanded my knowledge base regarding my own discipline and other disciplines.
I had one of the greatest opportunities to present my work-in-progress seminar in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on April 12 2023 which saw massive participation from the faculty members. The attendance was great, the interaction session was awesome, with very critical and interesting questions and feedbacks from the audience. This was really a lifetime experience within this renowned research community.
I was privileged to attend two important workshops organized by Professor Anna Harris, my host. These were: Making Festivals: A Workshop on Creating, Running and Evaluating Festivals in Universities (April 24, 2023) and Making Together: A Festival Celebrating Creativity in Healthcare profession education (9-12 May 2023). These workshops were great learning moments for me. I also participated in the Graduate Seminar Sessions organized by the Faculty on weekly basis. I got the opportunity to interact with other Doctoral Students from other parts of Europe who were also working on their various researches within the University.
I must say that working with Prof. Anna Harris was a great experience. She constantly motivated me to complete my thesis. She took time to read the draft of my PhD dissertation and made very useful and positive comments which contributed tremendously to enriching the methodology and findings of my thesis. I must say I am very grateful.
Six people remain outstanding in my Maastricht experience – Prof. Anna Harris, Dr. Thomas, Bastian, Dr. Timo Makori, Dr. Onallia Osei and Mr. King Joma Ronden. These people provided a home away from home experience for me at Maastricht that I never missed home. They gave me a good hospitality which dazzled me. I am grateful to you all. I had great moments with them on city tours, visiting the Natural History Museum, having great discussions of life and politics in Ghana, sharing of experiences, having lunch together, and having great family moments in the city of Maastricht. I really enjoyed these moments.
Finally, I must say I love the city of Maastricht. It is a very simple city to live in, very easy to navigate your way through the various interesting places in the city, good transport systems and amazing green environment. I cannot forget my fellowship experience with the Apostolic Church Maastricht located at Van Akenweg, Malberg. They were loving and caring. My experience in Maastricht will always linger on my mind.
I thank Professor Anna Harris and the Making Clinical Sense team for this great opportunity. I look forward to future working relationships. God bless you all.
Samuel Bewiadzi Akakpo
Doctoral Student on MCS Project