Student Trip Preparation
An understanding of how things are done in different societies
What it is like to experience a new reality from a minority position
How to work within a setting where resources are limited
The critical role of working within a team, particularly an interdisciplinary team
The importance of the environment and social issues in health and illness
Come With a Good Attitude
Be Prepared for Clinical Work
Expect certain physical and emotional challenges, particularly if this is your first international experience (other than Cancun). It takes extra energy to get used to daily realities like the heat, unexpected power outages, different foods, long rides on bumpy roads, trying to find a place to go to the bathroom when there aren't any, limited privacy, inconsistent internet access, etc. Taking our medical supplies and medications to the villagers that need them requires actual physical labor to load them into the mobile and then unload them in the village.
Remain open and humble to cultural patterns and behaviors (pigs running freely in the village, children with no shoes) that may be challenging to put into context. Many villagers see "Bush Doctors" or use local "traditional" treatments prior to seeing you.
Approach each of these experiences with an open mind, understanding that what you see as "right" is based on your own perspective and life experiences. Visiting and working in another culture allows you to see another perspective and broaden your life experiences.
Most of all, Be Flexible!
If you would like to purchase one or more small items to bring to Hillside, check out our current needs on our Amazon Wishlist. Thanks in advance!
To learn more about the experience of being in Belize, please watch this video: