Help me Study Abroad for a Chance to Become a Physician!

Jennifer Figueroa Start Date: Jan 7, 2018 - End Date: May 7, 2018
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Professional Development
  • Study/Degree Abroad
  • Mysore, Karnataka, India

My Travel Story

by: Jennifer Figueroa Start Date: Jan 7, 2018 - End Date: May 7, 2018
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Professional Development
  • Study/Degree Abroad
Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer. I am a senior expecting to graduate this summer. I want to participate in the study abroad program at my university, 2018 Global Health Research Study Abroad Program. As the name says, it is a program that allows the participants to conduct research while studying abroad. The program allows us to do research on health and psychology topics such as women health issues, infectious diseases control, violence in relationships, holistic health interventions, human trafficking, and more. The program also allow us to learn about the culture and the healthcare system in India, by giving us the opportunity to volunteer and observe in clinics and hospitals over there. I want to participate in this program in particular because I want to become a physician. I believe that this program will not only allow me to become a physician, but also become a better one. Knowing about different cultures and healthcare systems will help me be more understanding of my future patients. It will make me more empathetic and more humble.

I am from Puerto Rico. After what happened with the passing of hurricane Maria, all I wanted to do was travel there to actually help in person. I felt like sending money or supplies wasn’t enough. However, it was not possible for me to go there. By that time the earthquake in Mexico happened as well. It was all heartbreaking. I decided that in the future, when I become a physician, I want to volunteer in those kinds of situations, and in places where people need it the most. This program is partenered with the Public Health Institude of India, one of the things they do is take mobile clinics to women who would not otherwise be able to receive treatment. They get basic prenatal care. Many women in India do not get that important care and the mortality rates for mother and baby are very high. Those clinics are trying to change that little by little. This program could give me the opportunity to be part of that.

I don't know yet what to do my research on, but I am interested in women's health, and the holistic approach to treatment. To me it is very important to look beyond the illness, and consider other forms of treatment than prescriptions and surgery. I do NOT think that those two can always be substituted, because they are indeed needed in many cases, however, I do think that many times chaning lifestyle and habits can help greatly and sometimes eliminate the need of prescriptions and surgery. I also believe that some natural treatments are worth trying in some "mild" cases.

I had been wanting to study abroad for a while, but I never did anything, because I didn’t feel I was going to be accepted, and because I was too scared to do such a thing. However, last semester I received an email encouraging me to apply to the program, so I decided to start the application. I completed most of it until I got to the last page, where it asked for a recommendation contact. I didn’t have anyone, so I closed it and forgot about it, because it said that they would not review an incomplete application. Days later I received an email from the program director saying that if I gave her the contact info in two days, she would consider the application. I was shocked, because I thought the application didn’t even went through. Since I had such an opportunity, I tried asking a current professor for a reference, but she told me that I needed to be her student for longer for her to be able to do that. I was heartbroken, but I just forgot about it and was ready to move on. Days later I received an email congratulating me for being accepted into the program! I was shocked, and excited, and scared, all at the same time. I didn’t expect it at all. It was as if I was meant to be on the program. However, I thought I would pay the fees with financial aid. I didn’t know that I had to pay a semester in advance, so I can’t use the financial aid from that semester, the one I was planning to use. That is why I am asking you guys to help me with anything you can (even a dollar! no donation is small). I don’t like asking people for money, because I know it doesn’t grow on trees, and nobody owes me anything, but I don’t have that amount of money. If I don’t pay by the due date, I will be removed from the program. I would not be doing this if I really didn’t need it! This opportunity is a once in a life time opportunity for me, not only because of the program itself, but because it will increase my chances of being accepted into medical school. I am a very non-traditional student, so anything to increase my chances is great. Your donations would mean the world to me!

If you want to know a little more about me you can read my description :)
  • Mysore, Karnataka, India