Alumni Spotlight: T Coleman

Give us a little intro

I am an undergraduate student attending Pennsylvania State University. I am majoring in Biobehavioral Health and minoring in Human and Development Studies and Health Policy and Administration.

Why did you pick this program?

I chose this program to focus on public health in India. I chose India because it has been on my list of countries to visit to go and learn about development and healthcare systems. Many underdeveloped countries lack sustainable healthcare systems, therefore with a major in Biobehavioral Health, I like to travel to these countries and dissect the problematic health matters at hand. Hence, attending the healthcare program with IVHQ in Delhi, India gave me that experience and more.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

When going abroad, you have to be open-minded and be willing to and prepared to understand other's cultures and beliefs. Going abroad, especially for the first time, is sometimes hard if you do not educate yourself about the country your are going to before you travel there. That is a major reason why travelers find it hard to deal with culture shock, since they are out of their social norm. However, one thing travelers must know is to get the most out of your experience and last but not least have fun.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

One piece of advice I would give to someone going on my program is to educate yourself about the healthcare system in India if you haven't already. There are some diseases that are not as common in North America as to South Asia, for example Malaria and Tuberculosis.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

My favorite story to tell about my time abroad is my time at my home-stay. I stayed with an amazing host family that were so welcoming and showed nothing but hospitality. We shared many laughs and heartfelt times together.

Should I do the orientation week?

I did not do the orientation week, however my fellow volunteers did and they had an amazing, unforgettable time together. So I highly suggest to do the orientation week before volunteer placement.