Romana Kafedzic

'I would like to develop national level, and potentially international level health policies...'

  • Romana Kafedzic

Bachelor of Health Sciences in Public Health and Society and Policy

After studying a medicinal course at the University of Otago, but not enjoying her experience in Dunedin, Romana was determined to find another way to meet her passion for promoting health, which meant the non-clinical Health Sciences degree at UC was a perfect fit.

‘I have spent most of my life growing up in Christchurch and thought I would give the University here a go! A few of my family members studied there and they absolutely loved it, and most of my friends attend this University, so it seemed like the natural choice over other universities,’ she says.

Romana found her Health Sciences studies to be exactly what she was hoping for in a degree.

‘I enjoyed so many aspects,’ she says. ‘The content we learn isn’t just New Zealand based; the health models are international, and actually implemented in real life scenarios. We constantly have a wide selection of amazing guest speakers, from all over the world with so much experience and wisdom to pass on.’

‘I personally loved receiving a problem regarding a health issue and writing an essay on how to solve it, the potential consequences and cost-benefit analysis of my decisions, etc.’

Romana had the opportunity to put this into practice during an internship with the Christchurch District Health Board.

‘I was allocated a number of tasks by the CDHB, including organising community events, and later writing a research paper based on the outcome of these events. It was an excellent learning experience, especially for getting accustomed to a professional environment, and seeing how my degree was applied to real life scenarios.’

As such, Romana has high expectations of where her experiences can take her in a career.

‘I hope to one day work for the Ministry of Health in New Zealand, and potentially the World Health Organisation or the United Nations. I would like to develop national level, and potentially international level health policies, ranging from immunisation to restricting fast food outlets and food advertising.’

Originally from Croatia, Romana enjoyed physical activities to reflect her studies in health, such as swimming, walking and going to the Rec Centre. She also enjoyed going to the local farmers market and visiting spots around Christchurch, as well as attending UC events.

With so many pivotal applications a Health Sciences degree can have, Romana encourages those looking to study in a non-clinical health setting to ‘think big’.

‘Our degree is public health based, not one-on-one clinical practice, so if you’ve got a lot of ambition and like to think long-term and with a bigger picture in mind then definitely give Health Sciences a go! There are so many ways to improve the health and wellbeing of people, and this degree provides an opportunity to do so on a large scale.’

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