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Why did you decide to study abroad?

It was an experience that I always wanted to have long before I went to college.

Tell us about the program you went on

I participated in the IES Health Practice & Policy Program. The program took place in both London, England and Kingston, Jamaica.

How did you pay for your study abroad experience?

Financial aid transferred over to cover tuition and room and board in London. I also saved all the money I could and my parents helped by contributing to the costs of my visa, travel and meals.

What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?

Never waste a day because it goes by so quickly! There is always something to see or experience in another country. It does not have to be profound, but it will be a cherished memory.

Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?

No not in London. The only discrimination I faced was on a trip to Morocco that I took with two female friends. I learned the attention I was receiving was not out of hatred, but curiosity from the people of Morocco.

How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?

Personally, I have made so many great friends from studying abroad and gained more confidence in going after my dreams. Academically, the experience has taught me how to better manage my time and has given me a competitive edge now that I am applying to graduate school.

What was the most memorable moment of studying abroad?

My most memorable moment studying abroad was the first day I arrived and realized, Wow, I'm in London! I took the tube to Kings Cross Station and I was just in shock. It was a dream come true just looking around seeing that I was actually living out this experience.

How was the entertainment and nightlife?

The pub culture in London is very popular, but it is a cultural norm. Going out for drinks is not about getting drunk, but about enjoying the company of friends or coworkers. There are lots of clubs and it is a great place to have a night on the town.

In what way do you feel your experience abroad has prepared you for your future career? (Think both tangible things like language acquisition and intangible like learning to work with people who are very different from you)

It helped to see how passionate I am about bridging public health and medicine in my career. I also learned how much of a need there is in healthcare in the Caribbean and I am hoping to practice medicine there in the future.

Would you recommend the program you went on, if so why??

Yes, I believe it is one of the best experiences a student can have academically and personally. The IES Health Practice & Policy Program is a great choice for students majoring in Public Health or interested in medicine because you get to experience both fields in two very different cultures.

What advice do you have for students thinking about study abroad?

Do not let any obstacle hold you back because it is an experience that can open so many doors for you in your career and personal life. It will cause you to change your perspective on the world and be open to new experiences. And if you are pre-med and you are worried about not being able to finish the requirements on time, do not allow that to be the reason to stop you. There are several ways you can complete the classes and still have this experience. The opportunity to take prerequisite courses for medical school will always be there, but the chance to study abroad may not.

Any additional comments or thoughts that you have about your study abroad experience

London is an amazing place to study abroad because it is diverse and a central location to travel to other countries in Europe.

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