What is environmental health? That is exactly what I had in mind before my prior career of working in kitchens. After three years of working in kitchens, environmental health was still on my mind. After doing some research, the course offered by Cardiff Met, to study Environmental Health, was the missing puzzle piece for me; plus the course is accredited by IOSH and CIEH and IEMA!
I am now finishing my second year, and soon to be in final year. With the time to my final year fast approaching, myself and others, got the chance to visit Porto Polytechnic University School of Health Sciences, to not only learn new skills, but exchange teaching/learning styles.
This trip was accessible to me through the student ‘GO Global’ funding which awarded me with £500 towards my trip. The funding covered costs of flights and alternative transports, as well as accommodation.
Highlights of our trip to Porto:
1. After our first day at the university, students gave us a tour of Porto. They were more than eager to show us around. Note to self: do not wear heals, there are a lot of hills…
2. Our second day involved us visiting a lab facility the university uses and a visit to the CIIMAR research centre.
3. On our last day, we sat in on a laboratory class where we spoke to some of the other students and found out what they were being taught. We had the chance to bring forth our own knowledge of laboratories.
4. On our final day in Porto, we decided to go out and visit more of the city. We visited the famous bridge Ponte D. Luis I (Dom Luis I Bridge) and the Clerigos tower. Thankfully, suitable footwear was worn this time!
What did we learn whilst at the university in Porto?
1. REBA assessment (The Rapid Entire Body Assessment).
2. Restaurants do not have the 5-star food hygiene rating system like us. They have a certificate showing they have something similar to a HACCP plan.
3. Students from the university told us they focus more on public health and laboratory work for their degree.
Thinking about studying Environmental Health at Cardiff Met?
Here are a few of my favourite modules on the degree so far…
As I come from a hospitality background, the Food Safety module I particularly enjoy. I also enjoy Occupational Health and Safety and Assessing and Improving Population Health (pretty much sociology and psychology in one!)
Here are my top tips for when you arrive:
1. Hate to break it to you, but you will have more than one assignment due in the same month. So, I recommend you do one assignment at a time. Switching made it difficult for me to really get into the work and do the required reading. Then move onto the next assignment.
2. GO TO ALL THE LECTURES! Try not get into the routine of saying you will catch up on recordings of lectures because the work will just pile up.
3. Personally, I find it hard to stick to a timetable. Do things when you feel like it and try not to force yourself to write 2,000 words—it will show in your work.
4. Sign up for courses such as how to use apps such as Excel (you will need this for some of your assignments).