Study abroad has always been a dream of mine that I never really considered a true possibility until I found out about the Culture and Community Health in Oaxaca offered during the summer term. In my opinion being pre-med can severely limit one’s ability to participate in a vast amount of activities without careful planning, and unfortunately a careful planner I am not. Nonetheless I really wanted to experience health and community planning in another country other than the U.S. for a deeper understanding of the health issues faced by other parts of the world. I want to understand these issues because at some point in my life I would really like to be a part of changing health policy and working towards equality in the health sector.
I have been exposed a little bit to some of the inequalities faced by people in other countries through the works of Paul Farmer, Alicia Yamin, and other health and human rights advocates. Probably the most significant author whose words really changed my perspective, and prompted me to apply for this study abroad opportunity was Alicia Yamin, a Harvard University lecturer on law and global health. In her book Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity, she discusses how using a human rights approach to could be used to truly reform healthcare policy. Her argument as well as other works I have read pushed me to want to be a part of the movement that reforms health as well as determine what public health prevention plans and strategies can be implemented to make the world better.
I am beyond excited and incredibly grateful to The SEBS International Student Scholarship committee and the Center for Global Education for making it possible for me to partake in this program. And I am beyond excited to spend a part of my summer in Mexico learning about the vast culture of Oaxaca. Hasta pronto!