I would say that nothing is more uplifting than visiting a new country and discovering their traditions. It’s a unique opportunity to spend time in another place as a student while learning and visiting the country.
It’s a great opportunity to travel abroad, to go and help a community and to discover their traditions.
Every day the routine and activities were different and fantastic, depending on the choices I made. Having chosen the "pre-med" option for the program, one day I might find myself in the hospital learning about medicine, the next day I could be volunteering in the community helping to build houses, or participating in activities either on the beach or in the jungle or near a volcano.
My biggest fear was to find myself in a foreign place with other students I didn't know. I felt far from home. The language barrier was also difficult but I got used to it and I saw it as a challenge to learn a new language.
I appreciated this program because it allowed me to confirm what I really wanted to do later in life. The 2 weeks spent in a hospital with doctors and nurses allowed me to practice my medical knowledge and learn how to perform stitches, diagnose diseases, and evaluate patients in an emergency room.
Another great experience I had while I was on this program was helping to finish building homes in the community. Helping these people paint their homes gave me a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. I felt useful and appreciated for what I was doing. Moreover, the reaction of people when they receive the keys to their home is unexplainable.
What touched me most was an 80-year-old gentleman, who was the first individual in his family to receive a house. It is a moment of memorable and unforgettable joy. We forget our little problems and we see that in some countries people have almost nothing.
I want to have another experience of this kind. I want to travel and get to know other cultures and to help them. This is why I’m now working as a leader for the program this year. My taste for adventure will continue and I will meet other challenges.