Internship, Funding, Classes…Oh My!

aparna Hard to believe that almost an entire month has gone by since second semester started! It’s been a whirlwind of internship funding applications, internship conundrums in general and group projects for class galore. The Global Health Epid track has been super exciting thus far and I love the focus that my classes this semester have on preparing us for our field experiences this summer! Going abroad comes along with its own challenges – funding applications, budgets, housing and food solutions, and letters of recommendation are all any of us can think about right now as we scramble to prepare our proposals to secure the money to go on the adventures of our lives.

Fortunately, everyone here is super helpful and there have been lots of workshops to help guide us along, not to mention the amount of support we get from our professors…at least we’re prepared for everything that comes our way in a few months!

One of my favorite classes this semester has us studying the intersection between epidemiology and culture. In undergrad, I took a medical anthropology course, which I really, really loved, and I’m excited that I get to take a similar class again! Of course, data is the most common word in the language of epidemiology, but this class really puts a new spin on it and relates the projects back to the communities in which we will be immersing ourselves.
I will be going to India for my internship to work with an organization called iKure. International internships are usually secured in the first semester and the second semester is usually devoted to finding funding. I am excited to work with the rural population around Kolkata this summer to study trends in data already collected and to do some descriptive epidemiology to understand health trends in this particular population. Spending the rest of the semester preparing for this is going to be a lot of fun!

My other class this semester that is preparing me for “the real world,” is the Public Health 615 Course – part of PHAST’s Texas Spring Break trip! A group of nine of us are heading down to Brownsville, TX in early March to work with UT – PanAm professors on various projects. The class meets once a week and we spend our time diving into the work we will be doing in about a month! All of us will be writing in more detail about those adventures on the SPH Frontlines blog, so stay tuned…

It’s been a great month so far and can’t wait to see what else comes my way this semester!  Stay warm and, as always, feel free to reach out with any questions!

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