Tag Archive for international studies

After Studying Abroad, Mummini ’14 Hired as Health Programs Assistant in Denmark

Swetha Mummini ’14

Swetha Mummini ’14 is a biology and neuroscience and behavior double major.

In this issue of The Wesleyan Connection, we speak with Swetha Mummini ’14 who studied abroad last spring through the Danish Institute for Study Abroad Program. Her study abroad program hires two graduating past participants to be paid interns for the year after graduation and Mummini received the internship for the science and health programs assistant. 

Q: What prompted you to study abroad in Copenhagen?

A: Macaroni and cheese. I know that sounds a bit ridiculous, but the first time I seriously considered going abroad was at the very beginning of junior year when my friend Catherine invited her friends over for baked macaroni and cheese. Over the course of the meal, her friends talked about their plans to go abroad during spring semester of junior year, and that moment served as my personal eureka moment. I realized what a unique opportunity studying abroad was and how I should take the opportunity to pursue it. That night, I was up until 4 a.m. researching programs and trying to find the perfect fit. Denmark has always fascinated me, especially because of its status as the happiest country in the world and its welfare state. The program that I chose, the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), also offered a wide variety of health science and public health classes that appealed to me.

Q: What did you like about the DIS program in particular?

A: For premedical students, DIS has a unique program called Medical Practice and Policy. It’s a very hands-on program that exposes students to the fundamentals of clinical medicine and the European healthcare system. By participating in the program, I was able to get clinical exposure that I wouldn’t necessarily be able to experience in the U.S. I learned how to take a patient’s case history and formulate a diagnosis. I also learned how to perform basic medical procedures, such as taking an ultrasound and drawing blood. To give students a broader understanding of healthcare policy, our class also took a weeklong trip to Vienna and Budapest where we heard from physicians and other medical specialists about the challenges in their healthcare systems.

Students Enrich Lives, College Experience by Studying Abroad

While studying abroad in Paris, France, junior Lydia Tomkiw's host family gave her a tour of the city at night, which included a stop at the Eiffel Tower.

While studying abroad in Paris, France, junior Lydia Tomkiw's host family gave her a tour of the city at night, which included a stop at the Eiffel Tower.

Lydia Tomkiw ’11 began studying la langue française in kindergarten, and as a College of Letters major, she was required to study abroad for one semester. Little did she know that that her first week in Paris would result in a discussion on the American political landscape in French.

“During my first week, when I was still adjusting to everything, my camera battery broke. I had never been taught the vocabulary for battery and charger. I looked those words up and found a store. I walked in and felt a little nervous. But I was able to tell the shop keeper my problem and, as he was fixing my camera, he asked me where I was from,” Tomkiw recalls. “When I said I was American, he started asking me about President Obama.

“We spoke for 10 minutes in French and it ended up being one of the most interesting interactions I had in Paris, and when I left the store I realized that not only had I successfully gotten my camera fixed, I had discussed the American political landscape in French with a complete stranger who understood everything I said – and all because of a camera battery. After that, I stopped being nervous. Of course I did make mistakes in French but I kept speaking to improve my language skills.”

Tomkiw, who went abroad in spring 2009, studied through the Vassar Wesleyan Program in Paris, one of several Study Abroad programs offered through the Office of International Studies. There, OIS Director Carolyn Sorkin and OIS Assistant Director Gail Winter advise about 50 percent of the student population on study abroad options.

Students earn credit towards their Wesleyan degrees through some 150 academic programs in nearly 50 countries. About 300 students go abroad every academic year.

“Study abroad increases knowledge of another society, which in turn enables the participant to see his/her own cultural values and biases,” Sorkin explains.

Tomkiw says studying abroad in Paris was one of

Hughes Fellows Learn About Post-Graduate Fellowships

Carolyn Sorkin, director of the Office of International Studies, speaks to Wesleyan Hughes fellows about Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Keasbey, St. Andrews, Weidenfeld, Gates and Luce post-graduate fellowships during a workshop July 7.

Carolyn Sorkin, director of the Office of International Studies, speaks to Wesleyan Hughes fellows about Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Keasbey, St. Andrews, Weidenfeld, Gates and Luce post-graduate scholarships and fellowships during a workshop July 7. (Photos by Olivia Bartlet Drake)

Sorkin says the fellowships are for seniors and, in many cases, recent graduates with very strong academic and public-service records. (Photos by Olivia Bartlet Drake)

Sorkin says the fellowships are for seniors and, in many cases, recent graduates with very strong academic and public-service records. (Photos by Olivia Bartlet Drake)