Campus organization, study abroad prepare student for career in global health

By Eric Feldman

When Global Learning student leader Patricia Medina was in high school, she knew that she wanted to study abroad, but didn’t think it was possible financially.  Now, this summer, she’s traveling to Mysore, India, with FIU’s Global Health Study Abroad program.

Medina was awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education.

Patricia attends national conferences through her roles with GlobeMed and RESULTS.

Medina (right) at a GlobeMed conference

The trip represents one of many global learning experiences at FIU for Medina, who also serves as a Real Change Fellow for RESULTS, and as the Global Health U Coordinator for the FIU Chapter of GlobeMed, an organization advised by the Office of Global Learning. In this position, she is responsible for organizing campus-based discussions on the intersections of health and culture. She covers these topics while learning leadership lessons at national conferences hosted by GlobeMed’s headquarters in Chicago. She has also participated in a summer internship at Escuela de la Calle in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, the FIU chapter’s long term partner.

Medina feels that the study abroad program and her executive board position with GlobeMed were “crafted by the universe” to fit her specific interests.

“I love humanities and social sciences, and putting all of that together to get to the root of the person while helping medicinally, is what global health is,” Medina says. “I thought there was a strictly science side to me, focused on rigidity and facts. I was a medical assistant for three years and learned a lot of science, but what kept me there was getting to know the person.”

Patricia attends national conferences through her roles with GlobeMed and RESULTS

Medina attends national conferences through her roles with GlobeMed and RESULTS

Medina hopes to start a mentorship program at FIU that will allow her to reach out to local high school students like her to let them know that the things that she never thought she could do are actually within reach.

“The opportunities are right there, you just have to go and get them.  They are made for students who never thought they were possible,” she says.

All students interested in finding the perfect global learning experiences for them should sign up for the Global Learning Medallion. Members receive regular email updates about campus groups including GlobeMed and RESULTS, study abroad scholarships, discussions, film screenings, and more.

“Always check your emails from Global Learning!” Medina says. She learned about the RESULTS opportunity from a Global Learning Medallion email while she was in Guatemala, and applied from there.