I've taken multiple trips abroad to visit family and do service learning trips, but this will be my first experience taking classes in another country. Although there will be USF teachers there, the University College of London campus will be much different from our stomping grounds back in Florida. The level of independence is so much greater and the students who live and study there probably have a different outlook on life. So I'm excited to do some real adulting 3,000 miles away from my family in tampa while learning in and out of the classroom.
Also, I recently learned how much the study of epidemiology has developed specifically in London. I never connected the illnesses and plagues of the Medieval Times to the growth of this branch of public health. I'm eager to learn more about things like the pump, penicillin, etc. by physically looking at some original, historic sites. Since the syllabus for this class is so short, I know that most of the knowledge gained will not be in a lecture hall or on computer screen, but rather in the field where Epidemiology was developed. This type of public health course is unique and somewhat difficult to pursue, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn in places that are historically and currently relevant to the field.
The education system in the U.K. is so much different from that of the US from high school to college. I'm interested in seeing if their system gives them a more holistic knowledge base, helping them fare better in university. I’d also like to learn what their opinions are regarding different aspects of public health, especially as the National Health Service is a major polarizing issue in the upcoming elections. I believe that U.S. policy makers as well as those from the U.K. have much to learn from each other about infant and maternal health as well as health policy that could limit healthcare equity. Thus, this learning experience also implies exchange of opinions and learning from the stories of those we encounter in the U.K.
Although we, Americans, and the English speak the same language, there are many differences in traditions, systems, healthcare, food, and even slang. London is a great place to learn about Epidemiology and the lessons the U.K. has gained from this aspect of public health.