Yazmin Tenorio, Global Health Junior and Student Rep, completed her Field Experience requirement through one of UCSD’s Global Seminars: Public Health in Amman, Jordan.
See what Yaz has to say about her field experience:
This past summer I completed my field experience in Jordan with UCSD’s Global Seminars.
Studying abroad in Jordan was definitely one of the most unique and eye opening experiences that I’ve ever had. To best describe my experience I thought it would be great to give you a list of reasons for why you should consider participating in this program!
There is no better way to experience Jordanian culture than during Ramadan celebrations. Yeah, maybe fasting for a full day doesn’t sound all that appealing but is well worth having a huge celebration every night when the fast is broken. Don’t even get me started on the food, let’s just say that there is a lot of really good food. Also, Jordanians are known for their hospitality. Our hosts, doctors and translators went out of their way for us (especially when it came to food).
Where do I even start? Petra, the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, Wadi Rum, Mount Nebo, Jerash. Basically, Jordan is really beautiful. From the treasury in Petra, to the sunset over Bethlehem at the Dead Sea, to the dolphins in the Red Sea and to the Roman ruins of Jerash, there is so much to explore in Jordan. Trust me, these places are well deserved study breaks. My favorite place has to be Wadi Rum. I never knew a desert could look so beautiful. The sky was so clear at night that we could literally see the milky way.
Yeah, I know really odd reason right? Since Jordan is surrounded by places of conflict, the country holds some of the largest refugee populations of Palestinians, Iraqis and more recently, Syrian refugees. In response to this, agencies such as UNRWA provide much needed relief to these refugees. As a part of the class curriculum, you will be assigned to a clinic, a doctor and a translator to help you collect data for your final epidemiology project. Talk about hands on experience! Interacting with people in Jordan will give you new insight about the Palestinian- Israeli conflict, as well as the emerging Syrian refugee crisis.
I’m going to be completely honest and tell you that these classes are challenging and demanding. There is a lot of material to cover and you will have to work for your grade. But, it’s a team effort, you and your classmates are going to get really close on this trip! Plus, not only does the program satisfy your Field Experience, but you will also get credits for your Epidemiology requirement and a Medical Social Science course. And if you’re a Biology major, these courses can be petitioned for two of your elective courses in addition to counting towards your residency. Because of this, I was able to declare my double major! Finally, getting hands on research experience in another country is an extremely useful and unique experience.
This all sounds to great! What do I have to do to go?
Lucky for you, Global Seminars still is accepting applications!
In fact, they really want you to go! They need at least 15 students to apply to make the program happen this summer. I’m not too sure how many students have applied so far but, since their still accepting applications I’m guessing there looking for a few more students to attend. Contact them for application information, or even better walk into the study abroad office and speak to someone!
Don’t think you can go this summer?
That’s okay, this program is offered every summer so consider going then! Some students are hesitant to study abroad in Jordan due to safety and financial concerns. Unfortunately, the Middle East has earned a negative reputation but I can guarantee that you that Jordan is a safe country to go study abroad!
This program is pricey, however there are many ways to help pay for your trip.
Since this program is offered through UCSD, you will be signing up for Summer Session I, which means that you qualify for financial aid! Do not underestimate the power of scholarships! There are many scholarships available for your study abroad experience. The study abroad office will provide you with guidance towards applying for scholarships. Because studying in Jordan and participating in refugee clinics is such a unique experience, your scholarship applications will rise above the others! The majority of my classmates received generous scholarships, some paid in full, and I too was able to receive quite a few. You can also set up a GoFundMe to have friends and family help out!
Whether you decide to go to Jordan or not, I hope this encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and do something challenging and unique for your field experience! If you have any questions about Jordan or the field experience in general, feel free to email me! And if you decide to go to Jordan, I’ll gladly send you my class notes along with some survival tips (Trust me you don’t want to pass up on this offer)!