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Sarah Fung—Summer Exploration Grant recipient

Moody College of Communication sophomore, Sarah Fung [second row, center in photo below], truly knows how to push expectations aside and forge her own path. Though her ultimate goal is to become a physician’s assistant, instead of majoring in biology or chemistry, Fung decided to pursue advertising in order to develop her creativity and innovation. Before PA school, she also intends to join the Peace Corps and combine her branding knowledge and passion for public health to assist the ongoing HIV prevention campaign, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. “Having a job isn’t just about what your major is. By doing international work and learning another language, I can be more knowledgeable about what’s going on around me and use that to learn to care for other people.”

When she was awarded a UGS Summer Exploration Grant, rather than apply for a traditional internship, Sarah chose to spend two months over the summer at Samitvej International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. The country is a hub for medical tourism, and Sarah’s hospital was connected to the international airport, which allowed her to interact with people from all over the world. She quickly learned that working in a hospital is more than just doing your job and going home: “It’s learning about your patients’ cultures and adapting in order to make them feel more comfortable,” she said. Sarah spent her mornings mainly observing surgeries and wound cleanings. In the afternoon, she shadowed the international coordinator of the intensive care unit, giving tours to visiting medical students, creating presentations, and even editing English letters to national embassies. Sarah’s experience abroad “informed and solidified what I want to do in the future,” she said. “Now that I understand all it takes to work with patients, I’m interested in learning more about how best to serve them.”

Sarah Fung at internship