By Samuel Komrower ’17
Ever since my older sister studied abroad during her junior year of college, I too wanted to study overseas. The only problem was that I didn’t want to a miss a full semester of fun at Lafayette. Towards the end of my freshman year I got an e-mail from the Health Professions department about an 8-week interim abroad trip to London. It was perfect! I could still go abroad and I didn’t have to fall behind on any required coursework back at school.
The eight-week program consisted of two major parts: a seminar-style class and an intensive internship. The class was very interesting and informative, and I learned a lot about the healthcare systems in both the US and the UK. The internship however, took it a step further by incorporating the material covered in class into real-life situations. It allowed me to actively participate in the NHS, the UK’s National Healthcare Service, that we were learning about in class.
My internship placement for the middle four weeks of the trip was at NHS Dentist, a large dental practice consisting of ten different exam rooms with a total of nineteen practicing dentists. For me, this placement was ideal because I plan on going to dental school after college. My job was to work as a dental nurse alongside a dentist and certified nurse. I assisted with some of the dental treatments, dealt one-on-one with patients, and learned all necessary procedures and materials such as how to set up, clean up, and identify certain instruments.
What made the experience even better was that I got to live in a foreign country all while gaining experience in the field I want to pursue. On the weekends I was free to explore London on my own, but it was truly unique to gain insight on a distant culture by participating in the work force there.
To anyone having doubts about taking a full semester to study abroad, I would recommend one of the various interim abroad trips that Lafayette has to offer. London was an incredible experience and I plan on going back some time after college.