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Where Students Went This Summer

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Study Abroad

Where Students Went This Summer

Do you want to see the world? At the University of Oklahoma, we provide countless opportunities for students to travel abroad. In fact, approximately 41% of OU students have an overseas experience before they graduate. Our education abroad office offers opportunities in over 80 countries and 200 cities around the world, with programs lasting anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year, and some student groups making an impact in communities worldwide. Keep reading to learn more about how two Sooners spent their summers.

Joseph Browning - Germany

As a German major, choosing Germany as a study abroad destination was obvious for Joseph Browning. But the junior from Stigler, Okla., was also drawn to the country because his great, great grandparents came from there. He spent six weeks in Leipzig and took a German speaking course at Universität Leipzig.

“You see the subject you’re studying, and it’s just right in your face,” said Browning, who is hoping to return to Germany next summer to complete an internship. 

For Browning, his first trip out of the United States and spending time in a country where his culture was not the main culture helped him gain a new perspective. Visiting Berlin was Browning’s favorite part of the trip, and he also enjoyed seeing all the old churches because of the intricacy in the stained glass and castles.

“You’re going to the university to expand your knowledge. Expand it even further,” Browning said of studying abroad. “Do it for yourself. It is such an eye-opening experience being able to see these other cultures and be a part of these other cultures even if it’s only for a month or two weeks or whenever. It’s definitely worth it.”

Global Brigades

Laney Palmer - Global Brigades in Honduras

Since a young age, Laney Palmer has known she wants to work in medicine. The senior biology pre-med student from Claremore, Okla., followed that future career path to Honduras, where she was one of 46 students who joined OU’s Global Brigades chapter on a medical and dental brigade. She also went on the trip last year and is going to do so again next summer.

Global Brigades is an organization that goes into communities in Central America and West Africa and helps them reach both their health and economic goals and become self-sustaining in those areas.

The first three days of the brigade, students worked in a clinic they set up in a community called El Jute, Palmer said. They saw about 300 patients a day and were able to shadow the physicians and were able to complete tasks like giving patients medication and prescribing glasses. For Palmer, the chance to shadow a pediatrician reaffirmed that it’s the area of medicine she would like to enter.

After that, the group headed to Los Terrones, where they dug trenches and laid pipe for a water system. The last part of the brigade was spent in Chandala, where the students split into groups and went to different houses to build water storage tanks and latrines for families.

“Not only does it help you get medical experience but it also exposes you to cultures that are very different from our own in a country that’s completely different from our own,” Palmer said of participating in Global Brigades. “It helps you connect to people even when you don’t speak the same language. You just speak through smiles.”