The summer holidays have come to an end in most parts of the world, sales of school supplies are soaring again, some students are happy to be back in school again, while others are dreading the new school session. This post is written to encourage students to learn outside of the classroom environment, to take interest in extra-curricular activities. It could be joining a student group, such as AIESEC, IFMSA, planning towards a conference or looking for winter internships and programs. The sooner you decide the better. I hope that reading about Eugenia Owobu’s experience will encourage you to want to do more. I asked Eugenia a few basic questions regarding her Summer school experience in Spain and let’s see what she had to say.
Why a Summer School? Why Spain?
I traveled to Spain because Spain has always been on my list as one of the countries I wanted to visit. So I thought, “what better way to travel to a new country than to travel with a purpose”? In my family, you must always have a purpose for everything and if it is reasonable, of course they would sponsor you. I know my dad loves education a lot, just say you’re going to do anything about education and they can spend their last dim to sponsor you. So I concluded, its either I apply to do my summer practice there as a medical student or go for a summer school. So I made google my friend, I started making searches and getting as much info as I can until I finally found one. I found a summer school on global health based on adolescent health and I was happy, because I love anything to do with global health. So I applied immediately, I waited for a while and they contacted me and told me I was accepted.
“what better way to travel to a new country than to travel with a purpose”?
How was the Summer School?
The summer school was for one week and the activities we had every day were a lot. We had lectures and seminars from different professors that specialized in global health and some that worked with WHO (world health organization) and they all flew in from different parts of the world. We were shared into groups most of the time to work on projects that affect adolescents in our society. We were about 50 students that attended the course from different parts of the world. It was a class room filled with different people with different cultures, ideas and beliefs. This diversity among the students helped us to share ideas related to issues, adolescents go through in different countries. I got to understand how the health care system for adolescents worked in different countries and I also shared on how this system works in my country. We were all made to join heads together to find solutions to these problems. We also got to make our plans on how we could effect a change in the future. We also learnt how to be good advocates from IFMSA students and we practiced. I got to give a presentation on the last day as a rapporteur for the program and we were all awarded certificates at the end of the program.
Would you encourage others to go for this Summer School?
Yes. I would encourage anyone to attend this course because apart from it giving me a purpose to go to Spain, Barcelona to be precise, I learnt a lot from different people in different ways. I met a lot of people from different countries who became my friends. I had a lot of fun and memorable experiences I would never forget. My thinking was broadened due to different ideas I got from people I interacted with. Spain is so beautiful I must say, so many beautiful museums, beautiful architecture, and friendly spanish people. I would encourage anyone to also visit Spain.
And that’s it, a glimpse of Eugenia’s Spanish summer feat. I mentioned a few organizations above that help students organize exchanges and internships. IFMSA is mostly for medical students and AIESEC is for everyone, as long as you are a student.
These are just a few organisations, the ones I’ve also had first hand experience with. Remember to check their websites if you are feeling inspired and like Eugenia advised do make google your friend. If you search, you shall find!
To learn more about the Barcelona Global Health Summer School, you could visit their website
Eugenia Owobu is a 5th year medical student at the University of Debrecen, Hungary.
Follow her on Instagram