Location:  Dominican Republic

Program: Timmy Global Health
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Term Abroad: Spring 2017

Major: Nursing

Career Plans: Work in the ED or ICU

What did you think about your study abroad program? Do you want to go abroad again?

I studied abroad with the Timmy Global Health Chapter at IUPUI. We went to the Dominican Republic over spring break, where we did medical triage, health assessments, and provided medications for the underprivileged populations. For a week, I lived with no hot water, no access to the internet, and minimal electricity. I truly enjoyed the services we provided in the Dominican Republic, and it opened my eyes to how privileged we are in the United States. In the future, I would love to study abroad again. I highly recommend it to anyone, because you discover so much about yourself. 

How did the study abroad program fit with your required coursework? 

It is hard to take extra classes on top of the rigorous course load nursing majors are given. However, because I wanted to study abroad, I made time to complete an independent class. 

What was your first impression of the country?

My first impression of the country reminded me of Mexico. It was very bright and lively within the main city. There were people selling souvenirs and food right outside the airport. However, once we left the city the Dominican was full of dilapidated houses, broken down cars, and people walking everywhere. There were different produce and material stands on the side of the road as a way for the community to make a profit.

What type of housing did you stay in?

I stayed a lodging facility in Las Canas, Dominican Republic. It was a gated area with guard dogs, that had five workers who lived in lodging area year-round. Each cabin had two sets of bunk beds with mosquito netting covering everything. The room also had one bathroom with a basic sink and shower. There was no hot water and the electricity ran on a generator.

What did you do in your free time?

In my free time, I was able to hang out at the beach, play soccer, play card games, and went to the local market for buying souvenirs and shopping. 

What was it like interacting with the locals?

I loved interacting with the locals within each community. Every different medical site offers a new perspective of how the Dominican Republic community functions. They were all very welcoming and I learned a lot of their culture. I was able to learn some Spanish, French, and Creole while in the Dominican. The locals greatly appreciated when I attempted to speak their language. 

Kaylin Fanta

This is my best friend and I at one of the medical sites. We had been up since about 6 AM that morning and had seen over 400 patients total. I was helping scribe and assess patients with a doctor, where she personally treated at least 100 patients. Everyone was very exhausted, but we still found time to enjoy the service we were providing.