Location: United Kingdom
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Term Abroad: Spring Break '16
Major: Master of Health Administration and Master of Public Health
Career Plans: Mangement of long-term care of skilled nursing facility
Since this program was over Spring Break it did not interfere with any of my coursework. During my undergrad I wanted to study abroad but was not able to because of clinicals and coursework in the summer. As a graduate student I never thought I would be able to study abroad but thankfully this program was open to undergraduate and graduate students. Being able to study abroad has enriched my time during graduate school because of the real life applications and cultural appreciation.
Initial Thought on Arrival
Once I arrived in London, and walked to the Underground I was overwhelmed by a swam of people boarding and exiting the subway trains in a hurry at the Heathrow airport stop. Later once I arrived at my stop for my hostel I emerged onto the streets of London for the first time and it was so scenic. The streets were packed with rows of ornate buildings with shops and flats and the ionic British taxis were passing by.
The course connected to this study abroad program is OVST-M491. For the course we read the Ghost Map and attended various lectures and discussions during the week in London lead by public health historians, physicians, and a public health ethicist. At the end of the week we presented on public health initiatives seen in London.
I traveled with two other students in the program and we arrived a few days before the rest of the group did in London because of this we stayed in a hostel during that time which consisted of four bunk beds and had individuals from all over Europe. Once the program started we stayed in a complex which had units similar to a townhome with three levels including a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. I stayed with four other women in the program and we had plenty of space and had all of the comforts of home.
Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful during our time there. A great thing about studying abroad in England is that you do not have to worry about a language issue.
Leisure & Travel
During the program we were able to visit various museums and sites including Buckingham Palace, London Zoo, Big Ben, London Eye, a boat cruise on the River Thames, Old Operating Theatre Museum, British Museum, Wellcome Collection, Imperial War Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and walking tours of Soho and Westminster.
I would suggest having at least two credit or debit cards with you incase there is an issue with one. Before you leave make sure you inform your bank that you will be leaving the country so they are aware and wont flag your account when you use it abroad. London is an expensive city so when budgeting make sure to have $50 a day for meals and various other expenses.
If you are doing a Spring Break program then try and take advantage of the weekend or previous week to fly in early before the program starts to make the most of the short time period you have. Takes lots of pictures! Enjoy every minute during your time there because it will fly by.
What do you think you gained from studying abroad?
By studying abroad for a week in England I was able to get a better understanding of the National Health Service, the health care system for the UK and other health care systems around the world. In my prior coursework I learned about a few of the other health care systems that exist but the in depth exposure we had to more health care systems and specifically UK’s was informative. After completing the study abroad program I am now more aware about health care systems around the world and how we could make changes to improve some of the challenges the U.S faces with our health care system.