Erica, a Pharmacy student, learned more about herself and her chosen profession during her Global Studies experience.
Global Studies Program: Discover the World: Pharmacy
What is your background?
My mother is Cuban and my father is Puerto Rican, Irish, and Italian.
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Staten Island, New York.
Why did you decide to study abroad?
Studying abroad to experience other cultures and ways of life is an amazing opportunity for anyone to experience. It was upsetting to think that those of us with intense majors, such as pharmacy, would not be able to take advantage of this opportunity. Once the Discover the World Program became available for pharmacy students, I quickly jumped at the chance to embark on the journey in which most pharmacy students in America are unable to partake.
What appealed to you about the particular program selected?
The factor that appealed to me most was the ability to study in three different countries. It is so wonderful to study in one location, but to be given the chance to study in three places made the experience that much more appealing to me.
What did you like best about studying abroad?
The thing I enjoyed most about studying abroad was observing and learning about each country’s particular culture. It was very interesting to take these cultures and compare them to each other as well as to my own background. Comparing the similarities and differences amongst the cultures is a great eye-opening experience that helps you understand why people live the way they do.
What was your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience is from our first day in Europe. We arrived relatively late in the day, but our advisors took us on a tour of Salamanca, Spain- the first location in my cohort. We walked for about ten minutes when we arrived in the Plaza Mayor, which is the main square in the city of Salamanca. It was cold, but it was a beautiful night and the beauty of the Plaza took my breath away. After this sight, I just knew this decision would lead me to one of the best experiences of my life. (And it did.)
How has the study abroad experience affected you now that you are back in New York?
My study abroad experience has inspired me to appreciate the culture we have here in New York. I have lived in New York my entire life, yet I have not taken advantage of opportunities that are available to me, such as visiting the Statue of Liberty, climbing to the top of the Empire State Building, or going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Would you recommend studying abroad to a friend?
I would most definitely recommend studying abroad to a friend. Not only do I think it is wonderful to gain a first-hand experience about other cultures of the world, but I also think it is important for us to learn how other people in the world live their lives so that we can become more understanding and more open-minded to the differences in the world.
What plans do you have once you graduate?
After I graduate, I hope to be given the opportunity to travel the world again and to gain further experience not only culturally, but to also experience the role of pharmacy around the world. Once I become a pharmacist, it would be extremely advantageous and interesting to see the relationship between pharmacists and their patients in other countries. It would also help me learn how to understand and how to correctly deal with foreign patients who may be accustomed to being treated differently in their particular cultures.