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BU Abroad: Health Care from Geneva

A semester at the World Health Organization


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In the video above, Peter Mayers (UNI’08) and Tara Vaughn (SAR’10) engage in social action on an international scale in Geneva, Switzerland.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I had a bit of an edge, having studied under the bright minds at the World Health Organization,” says Tara Vaughn.

Vaughn (SAR’10) spent last fall in the Geneva Internship Program, taking courses and working at the WHO in the strategic information unit, focusing on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Her courses featured daily speakers from different realms of public health, and topics included abortion rights, public health issues that arise from natural disasters, and climate change.

“My amazing internship has swayed me to rethink my entire career path,” Vaughn says. “I have made a major change in the course of my higher education career.” She’s slowing down, planning to take four full years to complete her undergraduate studies instead of accelerating through a six-year program that would result in a graduate degree as well. This allows her to take more courses outside of a physical therapy focus, and gives her another year to consider whether, after Geneva, she should shift and pursue a doctorate in public health.

It’s not just the “big picture” perspective that transformed after Vaughn’s Swiss sojourn. “Now that I’ve worked at the WHO, navigated my way through Budapest, and haggled in various languages, a little calculus class is nothing,” she says.

Additional editing by Joe Chan and Bob Heim.

Devin Hahn can be reached at dhahn@bu.edu.

Next week, another foreign visit. Read more at BU Abroad.


5 Comments on BU Abroad: Health Care from Geneva

  • sally rogers on 09.23.2009 at 8:36 am

    BU abroad

    What a fabulous story about the opportunities available to BU students to make a difference on the world stage and what fabulous interns to take advantage of those opportunities. A great story!

  • Anonymous on 09.24.2009 at 10:38 am

    Do I have to be as cute as that girl to get in?

  • Anonymous on 09.24.2009 at 10:41 am

    Wow, the video came out very nice. Thanks!

  • Anonymous on 09.28.2009 at 1:03 am

    The high level of literacy shown by the students in this video series is a credit to the University. Your video crews are also to be commended as I know they play an important role in making the students comfortable in front of the camera. Well done all around!

  • Anonymous on 09.29.2009 at 6:47 pm

    Tara’s got eyes

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