Hometown: Woodbury, MN
Where have you studied abroad?
I’ve studied abroad in Thailand, India, Croatia and Ghana. Programs ranged semester-long to 3-4 week courses during winter break and the May term. Most recently, I served as an Assistant Program Leader for the CBS Freshman Seminar to Iceland during spring break in 2019.
How did you coordinate all of those trips?
Over the years, CBS and UROP staff were instrumental. I first studied abroad during my freshman spring and that took a lot of extra coordination. Freshman year I received funding to complete an international research project on cosmetic medical tourism in Thailand. Thanks to the Learning Abroad Center, I secured scholarships which ultimately made the experience more affordable than a semester on campus.
Why did you study abroad freshman year?
As a first-generation student, I feared I would miss out on experiences just by lack of knowing what was out there. With that in mind, I set up a meeting freshman fall to discuss my plans to study abroad. It was challenging to coordinate the trip so early on in my studies, but ultimately I’m glad that I pushed for the experience. That was my first time abroad and it really impacted my trajectory moving forward.
How have your travels changed how you approach academics while on campus?
When I get stressed or overwhelmed, my experiences abroad remind me about how big the world is and what really matters. My number one value is building strong relationships with people and those relationships will last a lot longer than my GPA. It allows me to be more authentic and vulnerable in my classrooms, which makes me a better learner and overall global citizen.
Right now, what’s your dream job?
My dream job is to obtain my MD/PhD and be able to practice medicine and research all over the world. My hope for the future is one that integrates my interests in neuroscience and biomedical engineering in a way that allows me to visit new places, meet new people, and experience new cultures from which I can all learn from.
What’s your favorite spot on campus? Why?
My favorite spot would be either Northrop, for its beautiful infrastructure. Or Appleby Hall, as it houses President's Emerging Scholars, North Star STEM Alliance, and MCAE; all of which have been integral to my experience at the University of Minnesota and where I can find space to relax.