Global public health minor leads Quinnipiac students around the globe

August 23, 2023

Aliana Castro sitting with a group of colleagues

In the middle of the summer, 11 students minoring in global public health individually traveled to seven countries such as Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, India, Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa to learn more about medicine and health outside of the United States.

Amy Davis, associate director of global public health and experiential learning, explained the importance of having a minor in the field and what students may concentrate on overseas.

“The focus of each program is different - from traditional medicine to reproductive and maternal health, to eye care, to bench research, to island medicine,” said Davis. “They typically get to see what it looks like to provide healthcare in public and private clinics and hospitals, rural and urban communities and they learn about the innovative ways that local providers in low-resource settings have overcome barriers to care.”

While students are in the designated country they have chosen, they are mentored by instructors at each site to ensure a meaningful and immersive experience.

International student, Isabelle Miserani, ’24, chose to visit Brazil to carry out her international experience for her minor as she had grown up there.

“I chose Brazil because after living there my entire life and leaving for college I thought it was a great way to give back to my country, and also experience what public health care in Brazil is really like,” said Miserani.

She worked at the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Natal Brazil, researching tropical diseases and in the second half part of her experience, she visited a local hospital focusing on infectious and contagious diseases.

As for Aliana Castro ’24, she carried out her research in Cordoba, Argentina, aiming to gain a deeper understanding of their healthcare system and why it is deemed the best in South America. Castro spent her first week learning Spanish in order to network and communicate with patients.

“All of my favorite memories of my experience in Argentina link back to the relationships I was able to build with those I met,” said Castro. “One memory that stands out amongst the rest occurred on 'Friends Day' in Argentina, or as they call it, Día del Amigo. After learning from and speaking with the head of the emergency room, I and one other student were invited to join the staff for their celebratory dinner. Being asked to join in the sharing of time and food amongst members of the culture was a moment of pride.”

Miserani and Castro commented on how meaningful this opportunity was for them and the benefits of learning about different cultures around the world. The two students would recommend to others who may be curious to venture out and take this opportunity of a lifetime.

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