Alumni Spotlight: Jackson Stromberg

Jackson is a sophomore at the University of Georgia studying Environmental Health on the Pre-Med track.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose Vida because of the great reviews I heard from others about the program. All previous participants talked about how great and rewarding the program was, the great friends they made, and the memories they will cherish from this experience. I was a bit worried about the reliability of the program, but the program was more than reliable.

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

The program provider for the University was more than helpful. She was able to give me a very informative review of the entire program, what to expect, and how to approach the trip. She told me what to get, what I should bring, and what I will be doing on the trip during clinic days and recreation days.

All I had to do was sign up and get my flights.

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

To whoever is going to experience this amazing opportunity, I would recommend that they pack their suitcase and bags earlier than a few days ahead of the trip. I forgot some clothing that would have helped with my off days, and I forgot some materials that would have made homestays even easier. Stick to the list they provide.

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

As a participant, the clinic days look like organized chaos. It mainly depends on the program you go into, but for medical I would say organized chaos.

You, your group, and your translator pick up a patient, then working as a team you figure out what is bothering the patient and take their vitals. Then the doctor comes and you work together to create a diagnosis.

The recreation days are groups going out to explore or eat local food.

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

My biggest fear was at the beginning of the trip was being picked up by the correct group when arriving at the airport. Or, in fact, there is not a group to pick me up at all.

One of my family’s fears was whether or not the program was reliable and there to pick you up. Which they were, so that was not a worry.

When I was first getting ready for it, I wanted to know, how are the other people on the trip?

By the end of the trip, it felt as if I had known the entire group for my entire life. They felt like very close friends at this point, and frankly, I was sad that the trip had to come to an end.

I have kept in touch with all of those who didn’t go to my university, but all those here I do keep in touch with them.