BSc in Health Sciences
With a love for societal-level work and a heart for supporting others, international student Nazafarin Esfandiari hopes to inspire others in the field of public health.
Bachelor of Sciences student Nazafarin Esfandiari has always held a passion for health. Initially pursuing a university degree in health sciences to become a physician, she fell in love with societal-level work which allows her to focus on risk factors that make people more vulnerable to specific health conditions.
“I want to investigate reasons as to why people develop certain health issues and try to solve their less-investigated problems rather than just medicating individuals,” she explains. “The Faculty of Health Sciences’ interdisciplinary approach helps me focus on improving people’s health and lives, criticizing the quality of health care and how it can be improved, and preventing diseases rather than treating them.”
Esfandiari started her SFU journey at Fraser International College. At FIC, she expanded on her desire to help others in two different leadership programs, Orientation and Peer Education; she developed a welcoming atmosphere for other international students by getting them accustomed to Canada and the university culture, as well as supporting them in their academic challenges.
The experience of helping students of many different backgrounds has carried into the desire to address health in a more expansive capacity, especially when it comes to the social determinants of health. She’s also taken inspiration from her instructors and professors, who have impacted her learning by instilling the importance of public health and the critical role health professionals have in the well-being of society.
“Majoring in health sciences helped me understand what the social determinants of health are, changing my one-dimensional biological perspective on health and helping me build up the knowledge that health disparities are often rooted in social and economic disadvantages,” she explains. “I am passionate about addressing the impacts of income level on the overall health outcomes in my future education and work because income level can directly impact our physical health, mental health, and behaviours. My goal is to pursue grad school in public health and hopefully become a professor and researcher in public health one day”
Esfandiari stresses that current and future students come to higher learning to make a positive impact on the world by building connections and communicating with one another. She advises talking to professors, advisors, and peers, while always asking for help if needed; to see university as a learning opportunity, and a way to find your passion rather than a place to just get a degree.
“Being a university student during a global pandemic is definitely not easy, so always be proud and confident about your accomplishments, learn from your mistakes, and never forget that we are all in this together.”