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Jack Reflects on his Costa Rica Pre-Med & Public Health Trip

Ever since my trip to Costa Rica with Global Works, I’ve been obsessed with studying abroad. Prior to this trip, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, but my parents encouraged me telling me what a great experience it would be and how it could potentially help me get into Medical School some day. Now, I want to go anywhere and everywhere and want to learn what the whole world has to offer.

The program was amazing, it was very cohesive and easy to navigate. The staff was very fun to talk to and hangout with. They were great people and very protective of us, but they also gave us the freedom we need as teenagers. I also became very close with the group I travelled with and by the end of the trip felt like I had known them forever.

Working in the clinics was very interesting and rewarding. I was able to see two minor surgeries from less than 2 feet away and listen to a little girl’s lungs before and after her asthma treatment. I also learned about how difficult it is to work in a pharmacy, and why it takes so long to find, count out and fill the different prescriptions. I will never be impatient with a Pharmacist again. At first, I was a little worried that I didn’t know enough Spanish to understand what was happening in the clinics, but the doctors and guides were helpful, translating everything that was happening, and I was able to learn from them without any trouble.

After our time in the clinics, we did our homestays. The people in the village that we met at the homestays were so nice to us and they honestly felt like a second family to me. My best advice to people joining is that I know no matter how much we say don’t worry about the homestays, you’re still going to worry. I know because I was the same way. However, the homestays were one of the greatest parts about the trip because the families are just so happy to have you and they do their very best to welcome you into their home. Keep your mind open to new cultures and try to learn as much as you can for as long as you’re there.

By Jack Yates, Costa Rica Pre-Med and Public Health (Session 1) 2018