Bridging Disciplines Programs

Home » bdp » student-profiles » Alexandra Gary

STUDENT PROFILE

Alexandra Gary

Alexandra Gary
Major:
Nursing Honors
Graduation Year:
Spring 2016
BDP Certificate:
Social Inequality, Health & Policy
“My Connecting Experience abroad has driven my desire to work in another country one day. I believe international experience is worthwhile for anyone, regardless of their degree.”

How did you find your internship?

I decided to study abroad to complete my BDP certificate requirements. I selected a public health study abroad program in Botswana, which included an internship. Through my internship I was able to observe various clinical settings in both rural and urban areas in Botswana.

Describe the work you have done in your internship.

My Connecting Experience incorporated both research and internship aspects. I had a weekly rotation in different clinics in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana. I spent time in several areas of each clinic, such as the Child Welfare Room or the Infectious Disease Ward. Most of my time was spent observing, which allowed me to learn so much. I also spent a week in clinical settings in a rural village in Botswana. I was able to draw many comparisons to my clinical experiences in the United States.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your Connecting Experience?

The whole experience was rewarding. It was almost surreal that I was able to spend two months in Botswana learning about the healthcare system firsthand. One of my favorite rooms in the clinic was commonly referred to as the “baby weighing room.” It was a measure to stop child malnutrition and starvation by making sure infants are a healthy weight. Moms would rush in with their young children and babies and place them in cloth bags. They would then hang this bag with the infant on a scale, and a worker would record it. The room was chaotic but I loved it.

In what ways has this Connecting Experience shaped your plans for the future?

My Connecting Experience abroad has driven my desire to work in another country one day. During my time in Botswana, I witnessed a severe shortage of healthcare providers. In a country with a tremendous disease burden, I would have expected each clinic to at least have a doctor, yet this was seldom the case. I would love to work in a country like Botswana in the future. I believe international experience is worthwhile for anyone, regardless of their degree.