My First Study Abroad: Why I Chose Uganda

Hey Guys! I know it’s been a while since my last blog post and although I felt pressured to be consistent sometimes you just have to let things come naturally and also I was really caught up with life, school, and work. You know I struggle with finding the balance. Nevertheless, a new blog post is here. I recently traveled for my first study abroad and had a life-changing experience. I was there for almost a month, so it’s not quite possible for me to sum it up in one blog post. So I’ll be doing separate posts detailing my experience.  As you can tell by the title of this post, I’ll be talking about why I chose the country I did for my first blog post.

In a perfect world, I would be a registered nurse involved in direct patient care, but, as we all know, there’s no such thing as an ideal world.  Public Health was something I’ve always wanted to do after nursing school, but with the many stumbling blocks I’ve faced, I thought, “why not pursue this and see what happens?” I do have a keen interest in prevention and keeping people healthy. My public health training has helped me realize the importance of practicing a healthier lifestyle, and I also want to teach other people about health and prevention. Having a degree in Public Health means finding solutions to healthcare issues as well as improving the health of the human race around the globe, which is something I’m passionate about.

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So back to my most recent adventure… Whenever I’m somewhere other than Antigua, the place I call home, I often get the question “where are you from?” Most people rarely guess my accent correctly, they usually think I’m from Jamaica. I understand that Jamaica is well-known, but I tend to get offended when people assume rather than ask. My answer to the question whenever I’m asked is, “Haha, I’m from all over!” then I’ll proceed to say, “I was born in England, but I grew up on this beautiful small island in the Caribbean called Antigua, so I consider myself to be an Antiguan. Some say they know of Antigua, others have never heard of it. I’m incredibly proud of where I’m from, and I don’t miss an opportunity to let others know that I’m an Island gal.

When I first moved to the US and learned about the opportunity to go on a study abroad, I always said I would like to do one, but for some reason, it didn’t happen when I wanted it to. I’ve faced some stumbling blocks on my educational journey, and when I decided to start over, I made a promise to do everything I said I would do but never prioritized earlier on in my studies. I started fresh in the fall of 2018 as a Public Health major. My school offers many opportunities for students to study abroad and achieve their academic goals, and I took advantage of these resources.

I was determined to chase after the goals that I had set for myself, so I decided to attend the study abroad fair that same fall.  When I got to the booth promoting a course on alcohol and alcohol-related harm in Uganda, I was immediately sold on the experience and put it at the top of my list for study abroad programs. I had a feeling this was just the experience I had been looking for. One of my selling points for this study abroad in Uganda was that it was in Africa; it has been a life-long goal of mine to visit the continent of Africa. The program director and program consultant were really enthusiastic about getting to know me and helping me see that my interests aligned with this trip; I was eager to learn about alcohol and HIV issues in a different cultural context. Lastly, being from the Caribbean, I wanted to see what the similarities and differences were between African culture and my Caribbean culture. I made sure to put it in the atmosphere, I manifested and prayed about it and knew I needed to get to the Motherland to experience what it is like to be an island gal in Africa. Most importantly, though, I felt called to make a public health impact in an area of the world that desperately needs it. After visiting this beautiful country, I realized that I didn’t choose Uganda, Uganda chose me.

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Stay tuned for more posts about my study abroad to Uganda.

xoxo, Tanya

Let me know in the comments what made you choose your study abroad program or if you plan on doing one!

11 thoughts on “My First Study Abroad: Why I Chose Uganda

  1. I always wanted to do one. There were opportunities at my university, but I never put myself out there in a position to achieve them. Making up for it now with my work opportunities and trainings all over the world.

    Can’t wait for more on your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

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