Study Abroad: The Decision Process
I am so excited to go abroad! I have always wanted to travel abroad, especially to a Spanish-speaking country. Though I have learned about Hispanic culture, I have never had the opportunity to experience it first hand, which I would love to do. I have taken Spanish classes since kindergarten, and I hope to improve my skills by interacting with native speakers. For these reasons I tried to choose a program that was in a Hispanic country. Another factor in my decision to go abroad was my major. As a nursing major, I need to take science classes that are not offered during a study abroad trip for the entire semester. I really wanted to study abroad my freshman or sophomore year before I got into nursing school. I was determined to go abroad during my time at UA, so I went to the fall study abroad fair in search of summer programs. There, I found the Nicaragua Clinical Experience, the perfect combination of healthcare and Spanish. The Nicaragua Clinical Experience is a two week study abroad program in May where students can practice taking patients’ vitals, shadow doctors, and assist in the pharmacy, all the while practicing their Spanish speaking and listening skills. I found out around Thanksgiving that I was selected to go, and I have been preparing ever since. This program allows me to not only learn medical skills and interact with patients, but to learn about another country’s healthcare system. These skills will help me fulfill my dreams of becoming an excellent nurse with a better understanding of different healthcare systems. Unfortunately, there have been protests and unrest in Nicaragua recently, making the trip risky. However, thanks to our wonderful and hard-working program leader, we are able to travel to Peru instead, where we will still work in a clinic and practice our medical skills. Although we have prepared for Nicaragua and I was excited to go, I am just as excited to travel to Peru where I can still do everything I was looking forward to. I am excited to see what Peru has in store for us!