I am Linda Abdelall, 25 years old, and I am living in a small town in Belgium. Currently, I am enrolled in the Master course of Governance and Leadership in European Public Health at Maastricht University (NL).
Even though I have double citizenship (Italian and British), I am Italian mother tongue so I already want to apologize for my mistakes. However, the creation of PharmInEu is meaninful to me as I am “rolling my sleeves”, putting me to the test, and working on making positive things happen.
I have studied foreign languages (English, French and German) for five years because the knowledge of languages is the first step to go beyond our own limits and start speaking and living in Europe.
WHO AM I?
In Novemeber 2016, I graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Torino (Italy) and I passed the national qualifying examination as well. I wanted to experience a traineeship or even internship (not paid) in a community pharmacy in the UK, but I had no chance even if I am fluent in English. Applying in other European countries would have been impossible because as Pharmacist a great fluency in the local language is fundamental.
I would have accepted helping in the store just at the beginning, to start dealing with a pharmacy different from the Italian one, start practising the language with colleagues and so on. Just for 3 months! I was not asking the moon but I had no luck.
When I was still enrolled at University, I asked to experience an internship of 3 months in a community pharmacy in Bordeaux (France), of course I would have studied French to pass the language test. There were no need because I could not go there: there were no collaborations among the countries.
As pharmacist, I started wondering what should I do to find a job abroad. How could I practice the local language without having the possibility to practice it? Besides, a simple language test does not prove that you know that language enough to work in contact with patients as pharmacists do every day.
There are huge barriers across Europe as far as public health workforce is concerned. Let’s break down those walls together!