Recent OSU graduate, Charles Baugh, completed his undergraduate career by participating in the IE3 Global Internship program. A Nutrition major with pre-med option, Charles interned in India through CFHI International.
Whether it was shadowing medical professionals, visiting local non-profits or fulfilling his childhood dream of visiting the Taj Mahal, Nutrition student Charles Baugh’s internship abroad experience in India is one he’ll never forget.
“My favorite aspect is getting to have conversations with doctors about patients we have seen during the day and hearing their take on current public health issues,” he says. “There are so many brilliant people to learn from here, and I have had a wonderful time being their observer and becoming their friend.”
For the majority of the internship, Charles shadowed doctors across India working in traditional and Western medicine specializing in naturopathy, Ayurveda, homeopathy, pediatrics, gynecology, emergency medicine and family practice.
He spent the remainder of the internship visiting non-governmental organizations, non-profits and government-funded public health organizations.
“India has many domestic public health issues they are battling such as general sanitation, population issues and access to health care,” he says. “Through this internship, I have learned that I want to pursue a career as a medical doctor and work on improving access to health care for minorities and financially insecure populations.”
To read the full story, visit the Synergies website by College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
I have many fond memories of the summer I spent studying in Spain: relaxing on the beaches of San Sebastian; enjoying tapas in La Plaza Mayor in Salamanca; hiking in the Pyrenees Mountains in the north of the country; my time in Spain was entirely unforgettable. However, I came back to the states with more than pictures, souvenirs, and memories; my experiences abroad contributed to an overall change in my academic and personal goals and gave me the opportunity to experience a culture much different than my own.
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to increase my Spanish language proficiency. Living with a host family not only gave me this opportunity, but also exposed me to various aspects of Spanish culture. I experienced the value placed on socializing through observing my host family’s nightly outings to enjoy food and drinks with their friends. I was exposed to differences like the size of meals (small breakfast, large lunch, late-night medium sized dinner) and enjoyed the food-induced lethargy of the afternoon siesta. These experiences accustomed me to the cultural differences between the United States and Spain, and I came to appreciate the distinct aspects of Spanish life.
Throughout my experiences in Spain, I couldn’t help but think about how culture-specific aspects of life function in cross-cultural communication. Since my goal is to become a physician, I was intrigued as to how aspects of different cultures come into play in doctor-patient interactions. My experiences abroad inspired me to incorporate elements of culture, language and communication to my existing goal of becoming a physician. When I returned to Oregon State, I applied to the International Degree program to add an international dimension to my studies of Biology and pre-medicine.
As a whole, studying abroad was an invaluable and life-changing experience that enhanced my academic goals and inspired me to pursue international education as a secondary academic focus. I developed an appreciation for differences in cultures and an interest in how these differences affect interactions between people of different backgrounds. My study abroad experience in Spain has become a foundation for my academic and career goals, and has given me the drive to develop cultural knowledge and language proficiency to internationalize my education.
I always thought I wanted to be a doctor; in college at Oregon State University I was a pre-med student and I had aspirations of going on to medical school to become a pediatrician. Little did I know the things that interested me most about the health field were more in line with public health than medicine.
In my junior year, I had the opportunity to go to South Africa on an IE3 internship through Child and Family Health International. I spent 10 weeks there, five in Durban and five in Cape Town, living with host families in both cities. This was one of my first international experiences and it really sparked my passion for global health by showing me the stark reality of global poverty and how sociocultural and environmental factors influence the health of the community. Spending time in both Durban and Cape Town allowed me to experience the best of both cities—Durban and its uniquely Zulu influences and Cape Town, an amazing city, rich in cultural diversity. While the clinical experiences at the community health posts and hospitals provided me with invaluable health experience at the front lines, the stories and factors surrounding the patients, influencing their health status was what most intrigued me. One elderly man that I attended to had a dangerously infected ankle wound and had walked nearly all day to reach the hospital for treatment. For many people like him, the cost of treatment and the fear of an undiagnosed illness causes them to avoid seeking a doctor when they get sick. These public health issues are just a few of the environmental factors that influence the health status and outcomes of the South African communities in which I worked. The experience in South Africa was life changing and it helped me to grow personally and professionally, preparing me for other international experiences.
The opportunity for me to go abroad again came last spring; Drexel University had some existing ties with the Gambia, a small country in West Africa, and they wanted to send a group of public health students there to assist at a rural hospital. Myself and four other students were selected to go; we came together and formed and organization called Leading Outreach Through Volunteer Endeavors (LOVE) Abroad to help support our mission to the Gambia. Because of my experience in South Africa, I was better able to process the things that I observed and heard about while in the Gambia, such as the blatant poverty, health disparities, and gender inequities. In the Gambia, I saw the same abject poverty, but I also saw a baffling resilience and hopefulness in the communities in which I worked. This experience abroad not only allowed me to put my public health training into practice, but it also allowed for a mutually beneficial international partnership to be reinforced between Drexel University and the Gambia.
My international experiences in South Africa and the Gambia have been incredibly enriching, and have inspired me to pursue global maternal and child health as a career. This year, I will be completing my MPH degree and I plan to pursue fellowship opportunities in these fields upon graduating. I definitely encourage anyone who is considering studying abroad to go for it; the chance to experience another country through a service-learning opportunity is an invaluable experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
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