From USA to Africa: "I see both trips as good preparation for jobs abroad"

Name: Lina Barbunopulos
Interests: travel, painting, playing tennis

Financing: Lina is receiving a grant from Karolinska Institutet for both exchange studies and the course in Global Health, but she is also financing a portion of the costs herself. She can also apply for an extra student loan from CSN for the Global Health course.

The third and final year in the Bachelor Programme in Biomedicine will be an adventurous year for 24-year-old Lina Barbunopulos. First, she is studying for ten weeks at the University of Texas Science Center in San Antonio, USA. Then she barely has time to come home and do laundry before she packs her bag again. Next, she is off for Tanzania to do a course in Global Health.

- It will be a fantastic year that I hope to benefit from in the future. I see both trips as good preparation for jobs abroad, in part because I'll get into English terminology, but also because I'll get to experience how healthcare can be operated under different and more difficult conditions. Maybe I'll go abroad as a volunteer when I am done with my studies, she says.

In Texas, Lina and a fellow student will be pioneers - it is the first time that the University of Texas and Karolinska Institutet have a student exchange in the programme. And even if several of the courses are similar, there is at least one American course that is different from the Swedish: the STEER programme* that takes place in the city of Laredo near the Mexican border.

- It is a course to get us students to find the connection between environment, general health and medicine. I think we will get to do a lot of excursions and I think that is really cool, says Lina.

Students from many programmes can apply to the Global Health course, so it will be a blended group that goes.

- In Tanzania, we will mostly do rounds as observers together with hospital staff. The hardest part will probably be seeing people who need health care but don't get the treatment they need.

Text: Catharina Bergsten

*STEER stands for South Texas Environmental Education and Research