The Global Health Office is excited to have another group of students participating in our Global Health Summer Programs. This year, students in Tanzania, Thailand and The Gambia were asked to respond to 3 questions about their experiences. Over the next few posts we will share these responses with you.
Question 1: What draws you to pursuing a Global Health Elective? What draws you to an elective in your specific country?
MSc Candidate, Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University
Destination: Dar es salaam, Tanzania – Pastoral Activities and Services for people with AIDS Dar es Salaam Archdiocese (PASADA)
As an undergraduate student, I specialized in global health. I learned through lectures and lively classroom debates about concepts in global health – the intertwined domains of health, education, poverty, and the economy; the importance of ethical and human right issues; the burden of disease – but I never had the opportunity to experience first-hand global health outside a Canadian perspective.
A decade ago, I had the opportunity to visit Kenya. This was my first time travelling in a developing country, and while I marveled at the pristine beaches of Mombasa, the wilds of the Masai Mara, and the warmth of Kenyans, it was also my first true exposure to poverty. When the opportunity arose to return to East Africa through Dalhousie’s Global Health Office, I knew I wanted to learn more about Tanzania, and specifically more about the fabric of Tanzania’s health system.
Medical Student, Dalhousie University, Global Health Award Recipient 2012
Destination: Khon Kaen, Thailand – Khon Kaen University
Participating in global health offers unique challenges to be creative while taking initiative and learning in a non-conventional environment from colleagues and peers. For these reasons I find global electives personally challenging yet fulfilling. There is a plethora of knowledge, skills and insight to be gained from our international partners. Not only that, but international electives provide opportunities to enhance ones education and future practice by educating professionals experienced working in different settings, cultures and language.
During my occupational therapy education I completed part of my training in Tanzania Africa. This was my first experience abroad in an academic program, where I learned valuable clinical skills through my colleagues in Tanzania. Based on these invaluable experiences I am motivated and excited about the elective in Khon Kaen, Thailand. I view this as an opportunity to continue and foster my passion for global health while communicating and working with peers and leaders with similar interests in a foreign environment.