Program and Location:
Spring Short Term, Uganda: Global Health; Various locations, Uganda
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I wanted to explore veterinary medicine outside of the United States. I also wanted to expose myself to new cultures and understand how they influence the veterinary field. I hoped the experience would force me outside of my comfort zone, allow myself to form friendships, and discover new things that I enjoy in life.
What did you learn about yourself?
I had a lot more to learn about the world and its cultures than I thought. I also learned how much I value the human aspect of veterinary medicine and hope to make it a priority throughout my veterinary career.
What was one of your favorite parts of your program?
The most memorable part of my experience was collaborating with the Ugandan veterinary students from the University of Makerere in Kampala. It was amazing to hear their perspectives on veterinary medicine and the impact they plan to have on their country through medicine. It was interesting to hear their priorities compared to American veterinarians. We had the opportunity to exchange innovative ideas and unique perspectives on what is means to be a veterinarian.
What advice do you have to future study abroad students?
Go with a completely open mind and be willing to feel confused or uncomfortable and just enjoy yourself and experience as many new things as possible.
How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
The experience showed me that true veterinary medicine includes all aspects of our ecosystem such as wildlife, humans, food animals, domestic pets, and the environment. As a veterinarian I need to consider all aspects in every decision I make. The trip allowed me to form an idea of how I can use my love for wildlife to benefit human populations in underserved communities. I also realized I am interested in pursuing a career as a veterinarian for a non-profit organization.
In what ways did your identity have an impact on your experience abroad?
As a Latino living in the United States it was interesting to spend time in a country that is heavily populated by a race that is considered to be a minority in the United States and a lot of other countries throughout the world. It was also cool to interact with the Ugandan people and discuss my background because Uganda has not been influenced and the people are not familiar with latin culture.
Would you do it again?