Studying abroad is one of the most enticing resources BU has to offer. I decided to do the Public Health Internship program in Geneva, Switzerland during the fall semester of my junior year. As a Health Science major/Public Health minor, this program not only fulfilled my practicum requirement for Sargent, but also knocked out three more of my required classes.
The first six weeks in the Geneva program comprised of taking two classes, followed by a one week break. After that, the internship phase begins. The semester carries the average course load of 16 credits. Since this schedule obviously does not mimic the regular academic schedule of the University of Geneva, BU hires professors to run the classes which are only open to the students on the program. Thus, there is a clear trade-off between cultural immersion and professional experience– one that is important to be aware of before choosing a program!
Every program has its edge, but Geneva’s strength was the internship component. I was fortunate enough to be placed at the World Health Organization, which was quite literally a dream come true for me. I was an intern for the Essential Medicines Department where I was tasked with digitizing archived journals and writing abstracts to accompany them on the WHO Information Portal. The intern culture at the WHO was incredible.
Another benefit – there are a number of excursions. We had a fancy dinner on top of a mountain, we visited the cheese mecca of Gruyère, saw the castle at Montreux, and went on a day-long hike.
I firmly believe that everyone should do their best to study abroad while at BU! No matter the program, you will learn more about yourself and the world. More importantly, you will return to campus with a fresh perspective that enhances the rest of your college experience.