A key component of the program’s success and access are the in-country partnerships the college has with Kaya and ProPeru

Russo said it was wonderful to connect and work with them again.

“It’s through those relationships that our students are invited to join this work in a responsible way and learn from those deeper, more embedded experiences.”

Some of the service-learning projects included building stoves and chimneys for community members’ homes out of locally available materials, including bricks and mud. The goal of this project is to alleviate heavy smoke inside the home and the family’s exposure to it, which has direct health benefits.

Students also visited a community school to meet with teachers and kids and work on art projects. 

“The kids were adorable and excited when they met us. Their energy gave me the motivation to create and design pictures for their school’s wall,” Zaki said.

One of Edson’s biggest proponents of study abroad opportunities is Aliria Muñoz Rascón, a clinical associate professor and director of the Global Health Collaboratory. In her role, she works to expand the global footprint of the college.

She explains that while students will have a number of memorable moments in their journeys toward becoming health professionals, nothing quite matches the intensity of transformation they experience after studying abroad.

“It builds empathy, curiosity, focus, confidence, compassion, and can ignite a fire to take action as a citizen and as a health professional. Our students learn that while each human is preciously unique as they are nested within distinct cultures and environments, we all share our humanity and deserve love, joy and respect,” she said.

While thinking back on her time in Peru, Zaki expressed her gratitude for the opportunity and shared how her time abroad impacted her.

“I learned so much about Peruvian culture, made amazing friends and met incredible people. Words cannot express how honored I am to have spent time learning and growing through this experience.”

Amanda Goodman

Senior communications specialist, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation