Alumni Spotlight: Juliana Hinch

Why did you decide to volunteer with Projects Abroad in Tanzania?

Juliana: I thought a lot about volunteering in different capacaties before I decided on Projects Abroad in Tanzania. I wanted to do something that was both meaningful to me, and also that was aligned with my professional interest in healthcare. I really enjoyed my previous experience in Africa and wanted to see more of the continent, so I started looking into programs around east Africa. I chose Projects Abroad in Tanzania specifically because of the flexibility offered by the program. I wanted something that was structured enough that I wouldn't feel like I was completely alone, but that also allowed me some freedom to do things other than work.

Juliana at the orphanage connected to the hospital where she volunteered

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Juliana: Every morning I would have breakfast with my host family, and then catch a dalla dalla to the hospital. The ride took about 30 minutes. At the hospital, I would round with the doctors, and then help out where I was needed. I would do things like fill and dispense prescriptions in the pharmacy, change dressings, administer medication with the nursing staff, and scrub in to assist in surgery when need be. Generally, I would be at the hospital from 8-3 every day (sometimes later if surgery ran long). Afterwards, I would often head into Arusha to meet up with other volunteers to go shopping or have dinner.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Juliana: Volunteering in Tanzania really changed my perspective on a lot of things, including my career goals. Prior to volunteering, I had planned on going into clinical medicine, but being there piqued my interest in public health. I am currently applying to MPH programs, and I am very interested in working more in east Africa.