This opportunity to study abroad in the Bahamas was one my high lights of my Linfield experience. It was awesome to be immersed in the Bahamian culture, provide diabetes information to locals as well as learn from them. During the course we spent several days in Nassau and the rest trip on the family island of Eleuthera at the Island School. On both islands we experienced their health care systems as well as presented to the schools and other organizations about Type Two Diabetes. Specifically on Eleuthera we also had homestays, community service to the Island School and I was able to go SCUBA diving. This class helped me a lot when it came to presentations. I learned how to present information to all different age groups and cater to their specific knowledge, as well as be flexible and prepared for anything. There were several times when we arrived at a school we thought we were presenting to a certain age group but actually ended up presenting to a totally different age group. One day half of the class wasn’t expecting to present but the school had enough class rooms for everyone to present.
Outside of school I really enjoyed the opportunity to go SCUBA diving. The waters of the Caribbean were beautiful, warm and have great visibility! We were able to see a lot of fish, travel through a cave 30 feet underwater and see a hammer head shark. The local Bahamians on the island of Eleuthera were some of the nicest and accepting people I have every met. During the homestays we able to see how life really is for the locals and eat homemade local food. Taking this class I think I learned a lot about diabetes and how it relates to an individual. In a textbook you can read about the complications, preventions and the pathophysiology of Diabetes. During this class we were also able to see how it affects someone who has the disease and the fear that come with this chronic disease. It always amazed me when we would ask during our presentations who thought they would get Diabetes (the sugar), about half of the class believed they would.
I would tell any student who is thinking about taking January Term in the Bahamas that it is a must. The Professors Janet and Jay did a great job at challenging us to learn about the Diabetes as well as ourselves. Anyone who is thinking about a profession in the medical field this class provided a great look at another countries medical system and experience working with Nurses and Doctors on how to address non communicable diseases. After taking this class it has strengthened my thoughts about pursuing a carrier in the medical field. I really enjoyed the team of students and professors that I was accompanied with on the trip and can see the impact that providing people with preventive education. I also had such a great experience in Eleuthera at the Island School that I’m thinking about possibly interning there over the summer before I start working.