+ Stories About Career Impact +
The program took place in Beijing, China, during which undergraduate and graduate students in the Rutgers School of Social Work were able to listen to presentations, gain knowledge about various social issues in China, and engage in discussions with students and faculty members within local universities. We also met with key members and directors of nonprofit organizations discussing the foci, missions, and aims of their philanthropic work, such as child welfare, providing education assistance to low-income residents, youth philanthropy, and natural disaster relief.
"This summer I traveled to Belize through C.E.L.A for Large Animal Practice in the Tropics. I didn’t know what to expect going into my study abroad experience, but I walked away with the most amazing and rewarding trip. I’m a fifth year Animal Science Pre-Vet student, who has a passion to become a large animal veterinary. I was able to gain lasting memories with once strangers and gained more experience in handling and treating livestock. As someone who works with livestock in the states, traveling to Belize I was able to learn new techniques and compare how operations on my farm function in comparison to Belize farms. During my two weeks I gained an immense amount of information that will lead me to my next journey in Vet School. I was able to do procedures and assist in a spay and neuter clinic. The most rewarding part was that my tuition was going towards providing vaccines, de-wormer, vitamins, and free spay and neuters to all the farms we visited. This was the best time of my life and will forever be grateful for getting this opportunity."
Maybe [in] my excitement, [I had] just completely dismissed from my mind that I was in a whole new world. I was surprised by how different the culture was and how amazingly generous the Thai people were with foreigners. My peers and I were treated so well by everyone we met. They really made us feel like we weren’t far from home. I appreciate Chancellor Dr. Christopher Molloy, Rutgers Global, Dr. Mark Robson and my family for always supporting me and letting me go on this trip. I learned a great deal thanks to you guys and I most definitely will be back in Thailand at some point in the future!
"Study abroad was a refreshing experience for me. I returned to New Jersey hungry to drive into my studies and field experience for my last year in the Master’s of Social Work program. There was a contagious energy in Romania. We were constantly visiting different agencies and hearing about their successes and struggles. My hope is to bring that energy with me into my next field placement. In the short time that I have been home I have already noticed that I wake up in the morning looking for a way to better myself in my field everyday. Since returning home I have also reached out to the students I studied abroad with and collaborated with them on different projects. I feel very fortunate to have experienced the Rutgers Study Abroad program."
Living in Europe is great because it’s so easy to go from country to country. However, my favorite moment so far has been right here at home, at London Fashion Week. Normally, I would never think to do something as cool as go to Fashion Week (in NYC), but in London I’ve embraced taking chances like this and experiencing as much of what this city has to offer as possible in four short months. I’m so glad I decided to go; there were so many amazing designs and designers, and I got to see up close why London street style is known for being bleeding-edge.
“One of my motivations for going abroad was to expand my knowledge on therapy by volunteering at a horse therapy site. One of my goals is to become an occupational therapist and therefore, I really wanted that placement. Luckily, I was given that placement and I learned so much more about therapy than I expected. I learned about the government's role in providing therapy and how to give therapy, but I also learned about how much could get done with limited resources. I learned about compassion and patience, but most of all I learned about the difference that an individual could make in a child’s life regardless of their situation by just simply having a conversation with them. Talking to the children and hearing their stories, which involved a lot of difficulties and trauma, made me realize that we all have difficulties in our lives but regardless there are still people out there wanting to help no matter how big or small the situation may be. This in turn has motivated me so much more and has strengthened my desire to become an occupational therapist.”
"Furthermore, the program itself has only further motivated me to pursue my interest in global health. After getting to know the people in the village we saw every day and visiting the school children, clinic volunteers, and bedridden patients, it has encouraged me to want to help these people and those who live similar lives around the world. Each and every person deserves access to quality healthcare, and I hope that I can one day contribute to the efforts being made to solve the problems that are preventing it. I can’t wait to use all that I learned about global health in my future public health classes and service initiatives when I get back to campus. The perspectives I have gained have provided me with a new outlook on how to address some of the worldwide health concerns that we try to solve each and every day."
“As a Health Administration Masters Candidate, the trip was an excellent learning experience to learn about healthcare delivery through close observation of healthcare faculty and professionals in a global setting. Being that I was not a nurse, there was something for me to do and be a part of. I was able to make administration rounds around the clinics. The highlight of my trip was one of the clinical days where I was able to watch a woman give birth. I was by her bedside rubbing her back and encouraging her during her labor. Spending 3-4 hours daily in a clinical setting has really opened up my eyes to the clinical side of healthcare.”
"Studying at the United Nations Study Program has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had at Rutgers. Originally, my motivation to study in the United Nations program was to gain exposure to the international order as I am involved in model UN at Rutgers, and wished to expand my perspective in this area further. I wished to attend United Nations briefings, interact with highly trained professionals in the field of international relations and diplomacy, and gain a well rounded introductory experience to the workings of the United Nations. Through the United Nations program, I was able to achieve these goals and more.”
My biggest motivation for studying abroad was finding a program that would enable me to become actively involved medically. As a student looking to go into the field of global medicine, it was important for me to find a program that would provide such exposure. Human Health and Transformations of Southeast Asia exceeded all my expectations and then some. Having previously been involved with working in a pharmacy and volunteering in an emergency room, local clinic and EMS squad I was able to apply these skills and knowledge and learn even more through my interaction with the Thai medical staff and patients.
One of my favorite moments on my trip was visiting China Care Home where children with physical disabilities lived, waiting to receive surgery or in recovery from surgery. These children were all abandoned children ranging from a couple months to about age 6. Most of these children's physical impairments were cleft lips. During our time here we got to engage, play and show these children love. This was my most favorite moment because I got to show children who were given up by their parents that they are indeed loved. It surprised me and broke my heart that people actually gave up their children because of such small physical disabilities. I was later informed that many parents gave up their children because they were unable to pay for their medical care.
As a Health Administration Masters Candidate, the trip was an excellent learning experience to learn about healthcare delivery through close observation of healthcare faculty and professionals in a global setting. Being that I was not a nurse, there was something for me to do and be a part of. I was able to make administration rounds around the clinics. The highlight of my trip was one of the clinical days where I was able to watch a woman give birth. I was by her bedside rubbing her back and encouraging her during her labor. Spending 3-4 hours daily in a clinical setting has really opened up my eyes to the clinical side of healthcare.
"My motivation for going abroad, congruent with my motivation for life, was to learn as much as possible to become a better actor. Obviously, London is the home to Shakespeare, and I knew that my next step in becoming a better performer was to learn how to handle classical text. And what better place to learn that than from experts on one of the best poets of all time? Our professors abroad were superb and I constantly felt inspired to be a better performer and better artist simply from being around that atmosphere at the Globe Theater."
This summer, I embarked on the service- and experiential-learning program with the Graduate School of Education - ten inspiring women, and our respected, director Dr. Darren Clarke to South Africa’s Johannesburg and Cape Town. The entirety of this amazing experience was historically saddening yet naturally beautiful through the sights, sounds, and feelings. Like other Rutgers study abroad programs I have participated in, there is always some type of challenge I had to overcome whether it be a dramatically, life-changing one, or a subtle, cultural one. A small, cultural challenge I had to overcome was figuring out what was appropriate to tip service. I do admit, this felt like a trivial problem, somewhat like a first-world problem. Dr. Clarke told us to keep in mind that we should tip as we would back in the United States of America. This allowed me to be mindful of how much they are really receiving in US dollars. Although this specific challenge is small, it snowballed into a larger challenge on a socioeconomic perspective. While we were driving through Johannesburg and Cape Town, we saw grand houses next to shacks which made me feel angry. This unsettling sight created a new crack in my heart each drive because it was completely upsetting to see how close impoverished townships were to those who were able to get by comfortably. I almost broke into tears when one of the women community members of Ikamva Labantu, a non-profit organization, constantly mentioned that despite the poverty and struggles of their community and children, Cape Town is still beautiful.
As a student interested in a career in global health prior to visiting Tanzania, I was curious to see how this trip would impact that dream. Over the course of our clinical days, we saw many disturbing and depressing situations. It was especially hard for us to process some of these images and multiple students broke down in tears during group debriefings. One of the faculty members spoke on this topic. I remember her saying that so many students come on these trips with an interest in service abroad. However, when exposed to the reality of other nations’ situations, not all of them can handle it. She encouraged us to be honest with ourselves about whether this was a career we could actually pursue. Despite my own emotional reactions to the reality of the Tanzanian medical system and patient experiences, this trip confirmed my career goals of international service. Our trip was only two weeks, but after this brief experience I know that I want to truly invest my time abroad to try to make whatever impact I can.