Science Students Prepare for Health Science Study Abroad Trip to Swaziland

Release Date: 
Jun 18 2014

Three School of Science students are getting ready to travel overseas for a healthcare service learning experience in Africa.

The students are a part of a group of ten students going to Swaziland with an IUPUI Honors College program. The three-week experience will include service work in a school and hospital, while students learn about healthcare systems in the southern African nation.

“I was drawn to this program because of its health science focus,” said Marina Sharif, senior biochemistry student. “I hope this will give me a small taste of what global health service is like so I can gauge if that’s something I would want to do long-term in the future.”

The experience will allow the students to use what they’ve learned in class to make a difference in a community in need. Students have learned about cultural norms in Swaziland as well as the broader public health condition. They also learned first aid and preventative health skills (such as taking blood pressure) so they can offer practical assistance.

Program director Dawn Whitehead told WTHR:  "We think it's going to be a great opportunity for students to learn, and it'll be a great opportunity to use some of the skills that they've learned here. And this is not the kind of program where students are going and doing things that they're not qualified to do. These are students who have been well prepared and trained for this activity."

The students leave Friday, June 20.

(13 WTHR Indianapolis contributed to this story)