Elysia Dowd, a rising junior double majoring in biology and spanish with a pre-physical therapy emphasis, will be spending six weeks studying in Argentina this summer thanks to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The U.S. Department of State’s financial-needs based scholarship helps undergraduate students spend a semester studying or interning abroad. Dowd will participate in Sol Education Abroad’s six-week program in Buenos Aires, studying Spanish and shadowing teams in local hospitals.
Dowd knew that studying in a Spanish-speaking country would further her goal of becoming a bilingual physical therapist, but the hefty price of going abroad and intensity of her academic program disheartened her initially. Her advisers recommended she attempt to study abroad despite her hesitations, and their guidance ultimately led her to receiving the Gilman scholarship and reaching Argentina.
“I rely on working during the summer to help pay for school, so it seemed like studying abroad was simply beyond my grasp,” commented Dowd. “My advisers urged me to apply anyway, and to apply for the Gilman scholarship. I’m so glad that I listened to their advice!”
Dowd chose to study through Sol Education Abroad’s summer program in Buenos Aires, an opportunity she found while searching through Carroll’s Cross-Cultural Experience page. The program perfectly paired medical training with Spanish language immersion, allowing Dowd to learn about Latino health care and culture.
“It will increase my Spanish fluency, which will be invaluable as a physical therapist so I can reach a wider patient population. By living with a host family, navigating the city daily and taking Spanish classes, my speaking skills should improve by leaps and bounds,” remarked Dowd. “Beyond that, I will gain an understanding of Latino culture and approach toward health care; besides the classes that I will take about Argentine health care, I will spend the last two weeks of my experience shadowing doctors and nurses in a teaching hospital where I will get to experience their health care system up close and personal.”
The Gilman scholarship will allow Dowd to spend the summer gaining invaluable academic and health care experience, preparing her to become a capable and culturally-sensitive physical therapist.
“Thanks to this experience, I will be equipped to realize my dream of becoming a bilingual physical therapist,” Dowd reflected. “I can’t wait!”
To learn more about the CCE and study abroad programs offered through Carroll University, visit the Cross-Cultural Experience page.