The Catholic University of America

 

Top Five Reasons to Select the Program

  1. Experience

  2. Different Perspective

  3. Giving Back

  4. Adventure

  5. Opportunity

As a student who is interested in working in the healthcare field, you are able to see how healthcare works in different countries. Being able to go to a country that is developing and completely different from the one we live in, you get a different perspective in how communities and clinics work. Not only are you getting this amazing hands on experience, but you are also giving back to people that really need help. The adventure that comes along with this trip is by far the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. Being with a group of students that have the same interests as you makes the trip ten times better.

 

What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went

After I embarked on this trip, I wish I would've known that we were not going to be in Nicaragua's capital, how much poverty the country was in, things I could've brought to donate besides medical supplies, the weather, and how rural the area was going to be where we were going to stay.

 

A Funny Story or Situation

 The Man in Scrubs

One activity that the students and I would take turns in doing throughout the week in the local towns was going to schools to measure the height and weight of the students. Our uniform daily uniforms were scrubs. Since the majority of students that were on this trip were Catholic U nursing students, it was no problem. During one of the days that I was at one of the elementary schools, I noticed that many of the young boys kept on giggling at me whenever I was around. At first I just figured that they were being silly our cracking jokes with each other. After a few minutes, I finally found the courage to ask one of the little boys why they kept on laughing. I could tell he was a little scared to tell me so I reassured him that I wouldn't tell the teacher. The little boy said that the reason they were giggling at me was because I was in scrubs and only girls could be in scrubs; boys were doctors and not nurses. In the spur of the moment I giggled with the little boy so he could see that I was okay with why they were giggling, but in reality this was a huge cultural shock for me. The fact that all the little boys thought that a nurse was a gender specific job and that being a doctor was only a role for boy was pretty sad to me. This was a point where I had to step back. In hindsight it was not a big deal, but I was able to see the difference in how different cultures see certain job titles associated with certain genders.  
 
 
 

What was a cultural difference you noticed?

I noticed that many locals would give me interesting looks whenever I would play with the pet dogs. In the area that we were in, the people see pets more as a necessity than a pleasure. Dogs are seen as a form of security to fend off local thefts or unwanted animals. To pet a dog and to play with them is kind of obscure for the locals. So whenever I would play with the local dogs, I would get many weird looks.

 

 

What was your professor like?

Professor Maxwell is the instructor that runs the Spanish for Healthcare program and has been going to Nicaragua for many years now. Professor Maxwell is so knowledgeable of the country and the local towns that it makes you feel a sense of safety. With her knowledge in both Spanish and healthcare, you can always be assured that you are in good hands.
 

 

Housing

Our housing for this trip was AMAZING! We stayed at an Air B&B that is run by Canadians who moved to Nicaragua. The whole B&B is reserved for the students that go on this trip, so you always feel safe and comfortable. The B&B is also located right on the beach so the views are amazing. Not to mention the meals! The food is infused with local traditional dishes with hint of Canadian flavors. The owners of the Air B&B are so friendly they also make you feel at home.

 

Student Profile:

Major: Social Work

Hometown: Salinas, CA

Program: Spanish for Healthcare, Nicaragua

Term Abroad: Spring Break 2018

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