Reflection by Lucy Richmond

While my time in Portugal was short, it left a long-lasting impression on me. As soon as I looked out the window of my plane and was able to see Portugal, I was awed by its beauty. I felt that during the almost four weeks I was there, I accomplished so much and was able to get the most out of the cities I visited, however, I know that one day I will go back to explore more. During my time abroad, I was able to take two courses, one being a 3-credit evidence-based medicine course, and the other being an honors immersed that focused on green spaces and the built environment of Lisbon. Taking a 3-credit course in less than 4 weeks was extraneous, but I was able to learn so much that will help me go far in my future nursing career. Evidence-based medicine is something that everyone entering the healthcare field should know the concept of and should practice in their career. Learning about the healthcare system in Portugal was an eye-opening experience and made me realize that the American healthcare system needs a lot of change. For the honors immersed, with a partner, I visited and audited 14 parks all over Lisbon, and my study abroad group audited 47 parks total. From these audits, we will be able to see a number of things, including how geographical location and socioeconomic status affect park and green space accessibility and the amenities offered in these green spaces. Participating in these audits took me through the entirety of Lisbon and allowed me to view it from a different perspective. Portugal was so much more than I ever expected it to be, and it was a great learning experience, especially since it was my first time traveling a long distance alone. I would recommend this study abroad program to anyone at CofC, whether they are interested in healthcare and green spaces or not (as both courses are optional). In general, I believe that studying abroad is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in other cultures and learn new things, and I believe that everyone should try to study abroad at some point in their college career if able to. Portugal was not the first country I was interested in studying abroad in, but it ended up being the best experience, so, the one piece of advice I would give other students is to keep their minds open to the options they are given.

 

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