Reflection by Allison Carter

I feel as though I really grew and learned from my four weeks in Lisbon, Portugal. This experience gave me knowledge of a different culture and healthcare system which is important
for making changes and new implementations to the healthcare system at home. As a public health major, this trip also was my first interaction with research. I learned every part of the research process, from article readings to data collection and analysis to writing a report. These skills will come in handy over the next two years as I continue to do research with CofC
professors or at the Medical University of South Carolina. One of my biggest fears going into this trip was public transportation, which I know is silly, but where I live in the US, public transportation is not widely used. I was nervous that I would get lost in a foreign city, but within two weeks I was able to navigate the buses, trains, and metros of Lisbon with ease which I was quite proud of myself for. I was also proud of the independence that I was allowed to portray on this trip. I paid for myself through working, traveled alone for the first time, and had experiences that I would not have been able to have in the US. To any future students thinking about studying abroad, I say go for it!! Money will return but you’ll never be in college again traveling with a group of students who have similar majors and interests as you do. The experiences that you will have abroad will leave you with a lifetime of memories. I also suggest buying things from your country or city that are specific to that particular place. For example, Lisbon is known for its tiled buildings, so I made sure I came home with a few pieces of tile for myself and others. I tried to only buy things that were specific to Lisbon for the sake of space, money, and memories. In the future, I would love to work or study abroad again. I loved Portugal, but I also wouldn’t mind exploring other countries as well!

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