It has been absolutely delightful to partake in the joint International Master in Affective Neuroscience programme of Maastricht University and the University of Florence. The workshops and lectures were intellectually stimulating, and the discussions with colleagues from around the world promoted an in-depth understanding of state-of-the-art research in affective neuroscience and current clinical practices. Both the summer schools at the beautiful Villa Finaly in Florence, Italy, and the winter course in Maastricht, the Netherlands, provided a rich and engaging learning experience with leading experts in the field. There was a good balance of different learning approaches that included lectures, workshops, presentations, and a major research project. Most importantly, I made friends from diverse branches of mental health and medicine – many of whom I am still in regular contact with. On this occasion, I also want to express my gratitude to the programme administrators and board of directors for being incredibly helpful throughout the past two years. I can highly recommend this programme to anyone with an interest in affective neuroscience and who wants to do something fun and exciting besides their work or studies.
The Internationa Master in Affective Neuroscience was one of the best choises I’ve ever made and one of the most exciting academic experiences I’ve ever had. Two weeks in a gorgeous Tuscany villa on a hill over the roofs of Florence with a beautiful garden and stunning frescos in the inside, one intensive week in beautiful Maastricht, numerous interesting participants with an multi-ethnic (from Portugal & Sweden to Chile & Australia), but also multiscientific background (MDs, Psychologists, Biologists, Neuroscientists, Physical Therapists, etc.), exciting lectures by world leaders in academia & research, friendly and personal contact and lots of time to interact with all of them on an everyday basis, demanding & challenging tasks and stimulating discussions, very personal and direct support and coaching throughout the programme but also specifically for the research proposal, lots of fun and motivation during learning new information and preparing new presentations, but also enough time to take a glimpse of stunning Florence and try wonderful dishes, excellent ice cream and delicious wines in perfect summer nights. All these are just few of the reasons, that I would pick this masters programme over and over again. In such a short time, the people of this programme become friends and Florence a new home calling you to come back again every year in the early summer. It was the first time in my life, that I was so sad to have received a degree, meaning that I would not have to return once more. I have only words of thankfulness, respect and appreciation for the organizing team of Maastricht and all participating lecturers from around the world.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the summer course at Villa Finaly and have met wonderful friends and colleagues from around the world. The course was challenging and illuminated the field of affective neuroscience in a way that has helped me to develop a greater knowledge from diverse perspectives. The PBL sessions allowed peers from backgrounds of psychiatry, psychology, and research to come together, bridge the gap between the professions, and provide insight from their field. The expert-lecturers’ talks delivered results of innovative research and there were ample opportunities to share thoughts and ask questions. In addition to the course, the location of the Villa and the building’s renaissance architecture couldn’t be more beautiful. This course exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait to return next year.
For long I have been interested in the mix of behavior and neurobiology in the field of neuroscience. Finding and attending the Summer course on Fear, Anxiety and Trauma gave me exactly what I was looking for. First of all, the course is set place in Florence, a beautiful city that offers a spectrum of sights and very good food. Secondly, the atmosphere of the course was very open and kind, everybody was open for discussion, including the organizers and lecturers. Lastly, the course gave a broad range of knowledge and depths of the fields presented, which was perfect for my taste. And after every lecture stimulating discussions followed. It was an intense couple of days, but it was absolutely worth it. It was a memory of a lifetime.
I am very grateful to be part of the master experience. I feel that I have learned very far beyond acquiring knowledge. The lectures are very good, with first line lecturers which are available to talk with. What enriches the experience most is the possibility to use the space of reflection opened by the lecture to have an intense team work experience with people with very different backgrounds. This is what should happen more between people from psychiatry, psychology , neurobiology and other professionals working in mental health related issues. As a neurobiologist working in animal models of mental diseases I decided to take this master to have an idea of actual problems in psychiatry, but I have had much more from it than I have realized. If I want my work to have an impact on people's lives, collaborating with clinicians is essential for me. However, for this basic neuroscientists and clinicians need to develop a common understanding. In my opnion, this is one of the most important aspects of the AFN Summer Course. I am very happy to see that people from all over the world gather for the course and I hope that many more will follow!
This year I attended the Summer Course in Florence, and had a truly great time there. I am a doctor in training in psychiatry in Australia, and had heard about the excellence of the course from my supervisor, Professor Hood, and about the experiences that it offered. The course included lectures by prominent psychiatrists and researchers, as well as small group workshops in which we designed experiments and later presented our work. In addition, we were able to observe research presentations from students undertaking the Masters Degree in Affective Neuroscience. During the course I met students from a variety of psychiatry, psychology, and research backgrounds. We discussed different ideas and areas of interest, and as well as this had ample opportunity to interact socially and explore the cultural sights of Florence in the evenings. Overall, I feel the summer course exceeded my expectations – in addition to the excellent course content I met leading researchers, made some great friendships and gained valuable insight into international directions in the field of Neuroscience. I would definitely recommend the course, and look forward to attending again next year!
The 6 days spent in Florence for the summer course were definitely days well spent! I am a junior doctor with a great interest in psychiatry. I found out about the course whilst googling up courses and masters in psychiatry. Once I looked at the brochure I knew that I had to go! The layout of the course consisted of lectures by well renowned psychiatrists followed by several workshops each day. The talks gave an insight to where psychiatry is heading and to the vast amount of knowledge we still need to learn from research in the field. During the workshops, we worked in small groups to design our own experiments in an attempt to answer research questions that reflect the challenges in the field. This kind of team work gave us all the opportunity to get to know each other better and appreciate the different backgrounds we all come from. As a junior doctor, working with psychiatrists, psychologists and researchers from various countries was a truly unforgettable learning experience. It was a great pleasure to bond with so many extraordinary people and to share views on life and work over a cup of coffee or a plate of delicious Italian food at the beautiful renaissance Villa Finaly. This course surpassed my expectations in every way and I look forward to come back!
The summer course has been a deeply satisfying experience! High quality lectures combined with intensive and truly interactive workgroups really gave a new and refreshing view on different aspects of the affective neurosciences. The vibrant atmosphere of the course kept going well after the lectures while exploring historic Florence in the evening in the company of 25 or more international students, exchanging all kinds of views and ideas about life and work: A perfect work-pleasure combination. Even more, the Master of Affective Neuroscience is an ideal platform for meeting leading researchers in the field, discussing the frontiers and horizons with them and getting in touch with young researchers in the same field. All expectations were fully met and I will be glad to return next year