Alumni Spotlight: Carlos Ignacio Orjuela Diaz


First with the head and then with the heart.

Why did you choose this program?

I really think public health programs are one of the best ways to help a community, and having the opportunity to practice it in on an island such as Bali was a must do for me. This place is literally on the other part of the world for me, and IVHQ was an organization that I already had a good experience with.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

It was my second time with IVHQ so I made all the preparation with the help of the coordinators via mail, they help me a lot with my questions since I wasn't sure what part of Asia I wanted to go, they send me all the information necessary about the program, the country, and the steps to get the right visa for the program.

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

Bali is a really touristic place, it was a surprise for me. but if you are really going to learn about the culture you can completely do it, it really depends on you and what are your expectations for this trip. If you want to go to Bali for the parties and surfing it's a great place to do it, but if you are going for the people and learning about a new way of thinking, then is also a great place.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

It depends on the program, since I was in two programs I woke up early, had breakfast at 7, help teaching English in the kindergarten program from 8-10 am, go back to the volunteer house, have lunch, prepare the health care program class for the afternoon, go to the school from 2-4 to that class and in the rest of the day do whatever activity I prefer, usually I like it to talk a lot with the locals and experience their culture.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I don't think I had any fear at all, indeed I was surprised with the amount of tourism in Bali, I thought I couldn't learn about the culture, but I learn that in that aspect in depends in me, found people that also wanted to be more in the cultural part and overcome that wall after the first week in the program

Hows my experience?

Bali is also called as the island of temples, you will find magical things in the islands, epic temples that will make you reconsider about spiritual subjects, ceremonies that make you say thanks about everything, views of the sunrise from the top of a volcano that will make a memory that you will never forget, the best blue sea you could ever find. this is not enough to describe what I had lived in Bali.