December 07th 2023

Eu-HEM Insights: Student Interview

From Bologna to Innsbruck, Rotterdam and Oslo

We invited Skander Essafi who specializes in Population Health Management to share some insights about the Eu-HEM study program with us. He spent the spring semester 2023 at MCI | The Entrepreneurial School® and has started his third semester at Erasmus University in Rotterdam in September.

What do you like most about the Eu-HEM study program?

I really enjoy the advantages of every university that I enrolled in as part of the EU-HEM program. There is a feeling of belonging to each one of them, which will result in two years in a joint degree. In fact, every university offers a specific set of courses, has a different teaching culture and student life. However, it is nice to be able to experience every element of it, making the EU-HEM program a unique one.

What motivated you to choose this international study program with its unique structure, involving multiple universities and cities?

Apart from the universities that offer the program, I like the fact that the program in the beginning covers broad topics in the field of health economics and management, then it approaches more specific concepts as it gives you the option to choose one specialization track after the first semester. I studied medicine before, and I believe this program could bring a whole new set of competencies that would upscale my background as healthcare professional.

You studied at MCI in your 2nd semester. What was your favorite place at the MCI?

I liked the fourth floor of MCI I and the rooftop. It is so peaceful to have lunch or a coffee break there with friends and classmates, and it reminds us of the beautiful view on the mountain where our eyes can get easily lost.

How have you managed the transition between different universities, cities, and academic systems?

Every university had their own integration process, which made my personal transition smooth enough between Bologna and Innsbruck and between Innsbruck to Rotterdam. Therefore, after some adaptation time, it’s easy to get used to different systems.

Reflecting on your experiences across different universities in Eu-HEM, can you share some challenges you have encountered during the past year?

As I come from a non-EU country, I had to go through extra procedures when it comes to visa, residency permit and insurance process for every city. Luckily, I was able to use the Italian permit from the first semester in Bologna for the second one in Innsbruck, as I stayed four months. I also struggled with moving between cities, as I had a lot of suitcases, and I would travel back to Tunisia in the meantime. Luckily, I had friends helping me sending my luggage.

Looking ahead to your final semester and your master thesis: Are there specific areas you are excited about exploring?

I am looking forward to digging into my topic of interest, but also still open to opportunities for Internships. I would like to gain more expertise in developing my theoretical framework and more knowledge in applying some tools that I know about only in theory, namely in qualitative research.

What advice would you give to prospective students considering a similar international academic journey?

If you are doubting on the mobility disadvantages of the program throughout the two years, you should rather think of all the advantages that by far have a major weight: You would have the opportunity to obtain a joint degree, to explore different universities and learning styles, but also to have support and mentorship from each university.

Thank you very much! We wish you a great journey ahead and good luck with your master thesis!



The two-year master's program in European Health Economics and Management is jointly offered by MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®, the Universities of Bologna, Oslo, and Erasmus University Rotterdam. It allows students to spend the first semester in the historic city of Bologna, Italy. From there, they can choose their specialization track and the corresponding universities for the second, third and fourth semester.

Are you interested in a unique international study experience? Join the European Master in Health Economics & Management!

Application deadlines at MCI for a study start in fall 2024:

  • February 4, 2024
  • March 31, 2024
  • May 26, 2024