I have always had a passion for science. As a high school student, I decided to use my Semester Break to discover whether medicine was what I wanted to do I my future. I found the Projects Abroad program online and after a lot of research, found the perfect program for me: spend two weeks in Tanzania where I would learn about the basics of medicine while engaging with the culture of the place and doing volunteer work. Gaining support from the Projects Abroad staff from the moment I signed up until the moment I came back home, I couldn't be in better hands. With the help of their websites, calls with my supervisors and advise sessions with past volunteers, I felt secure and confident about the trip - even though it was the first time I was travelling internationally by myself.
I stayed at The Haus accommodation, where the staff was exceptionally kind and helpful, and where I could meet volunteers like me from all over the world. For two weeks, we became like a family, which helped us all with the culture shock. Today I still have contact with all of them and also with our amazing supervisor, Daniella, who I could not be more grateful for having on this trip.
This program actually overcame my expectations. It made me not only discover that medicine is what I want to do in the future, but also allowed me to seriously engage with the country's culture and live memorable experiences. We would have workshops about medicine and visits to hospitals to experience what we learned in first hand, as well as workshops about the Tanzanian culture, cuisine and art, which were all really interesting. There were even trips to the Tarangire National Park (my first safari ever!) and the Mount Meru Waterfalls on the weekend. The most unique experience for me was to visit the Maasai Village, where I had the amazing opportunity to see their traditional celebrations (jumping ceremony and drinking goat's blood -
yes you read it right : goat's blood ) and to engage with such a culturally rich African tribe. That is one of the reasons why I say this program made me more of a risk - taker and open minded person, which are benefits for a lifetime.
I am not the same person I was before participating in the High School Special Medical Program in Tanzania. It was the best experience I have ever had so far, and my regret was not living this experience for longer - I just wish I had chosen the four weeks program instead of the two weeks one. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to become more culturally rich, knowledgeable and open - minded, and to who wishes to gain new perspectives about the world we live in while helping others.