I decided that I wanted to come to Nicaragua because it was the perfect opportunity to get valuable medical experience, to be immersed in latino culture, and to travel to a beautiful place. I start my junior year in the spring and with a job, and a desire to participate in a research lab in the near future I felt like I would not have another opportunity to spend time abroad. Due to the Nicaragua Clinical Experience trip’s shorter time frame I was able to participate despite staying in Tuscaloosa this summer to work.
The summer trip has a prerequisite spring semester class which was one credit hour. The class prepared us for the tasks we would perform in the clinic, as well as equipped us with the spanish tools to communicate in the clinic, the city, and our host homes. I brought with me the normal stuff one might need when traveling, and also medicine which was donated for the FOR Clinic.
I have been very excited to have such an opportunity, but as the time to depart nears I am becoming increasingly anxious about being in an entirely different culture and communicating in a different language. Having the class and a close knit group of colleagues has helped to dissipate some of the anxiety as we all are experiencing it to some extent.
During my study abroad experience I want to further my horizons and keep an open mind about the cultural differences. I hope to learn more about the clinical tasks; how they are different, and how they are the same. I also would love to improve my linguistic skills as I hope to continue to travel and work in Central America. I am looking forward to this opportunity with an open mind and heart.