During my time abroad, I learned how strong I am physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. What was great about my experience abroad is that I got to apply my theoretical public health knowledge on a global scale. Putting into practice public health communication and having an impact on communities was a fulfilling and robust experience. My [internship] with Ubongo (the social enterprise edutainment media company) allowed me to reach over 440 million children with my intervention and evaluate the health messages of Ubongo's main show "Akili & Me".
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Going abroad expands your perspective of other communities and cultures to allow you to be more culturally aware and culturally competent. You can broaden your understanding of other communities, and learn what makes us similar and appreciate our differences. Similarities allow for conversation but differences allow for dialogue.
My greatest experience was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. I'm not normally an outdoors kind of person, but being able to test my own strength and climb the highest peak in Africa was a lifetime experience I will never forget. I was also able to do it with other interns that were on the trip with me, and cheering each other made me feel comfortable and confident through our trek.
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Studying abroad is not expensive, and there are numerous resources internally at the University of Maryland and outside that can make the financial burden less strenuous.
I think adapting and learning to cope with homesickness was a major factor, but I was able to use my personal blog to express my thoughts and reflect on the experience. Being flexible and figuring a routine to still do your work abroad and speak to family back home is a big factor in to adapting to this, since you never know what you'll miss until you're actually away.