Christina Marvin

Christina Marvin

Christina Marvin
Biology, Chemistry, Pre-med
Class of 2013
King's Faculty-Led Program
Canto Grande & Lima, Peru

How did you select your Study/Intern Abroad location?

I had wanted to study in a Spanish-speaking country in order to improve my Spanish and experience the language in a country in which Spanish was the native language. I also wanted a chance to perform missionary work in the area in which I was staying. Both of these aspects, as well as the opportunity to receive credits in Spanish, influenced my decision to choose Peru as my study abroad location.

Why did you want to study or intern abroad?

I wanted to study abroad because I believe that varying cultural awareness and experience abroad is an extremely important aspect to understanding the world in which we live. I have always wanted the opportunity to study abroad and experience the customs and traditions of a different country. I especially wanted the experience of integrating myself into a country in which Spanish is the native language in order to expand my conversation skills from conversing in the classroom setting to conversing with a native speaker.

What were the highlights of this experience?

The largest highlight of this experience was living in an area in which very few persons spoke English and applying the language skills which I have learned in a classroom into a real-life setting. I also greatly enjoyed the opportunity which I had to shadow a medical doctor during my experience. Because shadowing and observation experience is so important for pre-med students, I feel extremely lucky that not only was I able to observe a medical doctor during my time abroad, but I was able to shadow in an entirely Spanish-speaking environment.

What surprised you the most?

The largest highlight of this experience was living in an area in which very few persons spoke English and applying the language skills which I have learned in a classroom into a real-life setting. I also greatly enjoyed the opportunity which I had to shadow a medical doctor during my experience. Because shadowing and observation experience is so important for pre-med students, I feel extremely lucky that not only was I able to observe a medical doctor during my time abroad, but I was able to shadow in an entirely Spanish-speaking environment.

How has (or how might) this experience affect your major and future career?

Before this experience, I believed that I would only be able to take the two semesters of a language needed to fulfill the requirements of the Honors program. As much as I enjoyed Spanish and wanted to become fairly fluid in the language in order to use this skill in the medical field, I knew that I needed to complete the other honors' classes as well as the science courses for my double major in biology/ chemistry. This experience greatly improved my conversational ability, which I hope will aid me in my medical career. I also had the opportunity to take six credits in Spanish. I believe that with some skillful schedule arrangements I can take the remaining Spanish courses needed to obtain the credits for a major in Spanish.

What would you tell students considering studying or interning abroad?

I would strongly encourage any student with even the slightest desire to study abroad to see Mrs. Farmer and look into the options available. I have always had the desire to travel and study abroad at some point in my academic career, just to experience the traditions and cultures of a different nation. I had received offers from People to People (a study abroad program for secondary education students) in high school, but had never been able to take advantage of these offers due to both financial and family-health limitations. Even up to last year, I had placed the idea of studying abroad out of my mind to focus on (what I believed at least) realistic opportunities. However, when one of my professors encouraged me to speak to Mrs. Farmer, I decided to take a chance and schedule a meeting. I found that there were many persons in different areas that would work with you to ensure that you were ready for a study abroad experience and that you found the right program to fit your specific needs. There was even a financial aid counselor who helped me through the whole process. When I spoke to my mother about the program and shared with her all the paperwork and financial information, as well as the information provided to me by Mrs. Farmer, she too agreed that this opportunity would be an excellent and insightful experience. In short, even if you feel that you are limited by whatever obstacles you may have, if you truly desire to have a stimulating and educational study abroad experience - talk to Mrs. Farmer, there may be a perfect program for your needs.

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