Department of Biology
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, IL 60045
I will try my best to specifically explain the feeling I got to when I experienced life and culture in Australia. The first thing you need to do is use Google, Jeeves.com, or any search engine.
You can even look this picture up in a book to really know what I mean. But type or look up the Lavender fields of Provence, France. What you will see will absolutely take your breath away because you see rows and rows of this beautiful bright purple flower. You can even type into the search engine “the Chicago skyline” located in the United States, and the effect is just the same. You feel like your soul has been touched by something greater than all of humanity, than the power of one strike of lightning, and even perhaps Bill Gate’s bank account. Forgive me for not at first providing you with examples in Australia- the place I went to study in for a semester. But I just wanted you to experience this feeling with something you may have not pictured or even seen before. Thus, I went to experience this awe of a place and its culture when I saw the Sydney Opera House or even the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It’s hard to feel these things through a picture, so that is why I absolutely needed to go to Australia firsthand. Other than this movement through my soul, I gained the knowledge of an Australian native. I saw Australian popular works of art, who are the popular performers, and even how much a gallon of milk costs. I was also lucky that as a Lake Forest College student I was able to use what I have learned as a Biology major and apply them to my experiences in another country.
It is incredibly difficult to pinpoint where to start describing my excellent experience abroad. For instance I was able to find an internship that showed me how the Australian workplace ran. I was lucky enough to find an internship at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre (CTC) at the University of Sydney. The NHMRC CTC has over 150 researchers dedicated to finding new drug treatments and therapies since 1988. The CTC has recruited over 65,000 patients in trials that have answered questions regarding certain health problems such as stroke, cancer, diabetes, and more. The therapies and drugs they recommend and discover allow more lives to be saved every year. Incredibly enough I was able to learn more about diabetes research by working in a Biomarkers Laboratory. I was able to analyze a Medical Faculty audit, prepare a sample requirements list for this biomedical research laboratory, and finally help prepare a the abstract and data for a insulin pump clinic audit. Through all my work on these three projects I was able to learn more skills to apply to my future career goals, and I was also able to apply much of what I have learned in school to this internship. My internship in the CTC was an incredible opportunity that has really taught me a lot about health science. I am lucky that many of the new skills I have learned can be applied to my possible future career as a podiatrist. I have learned many new medical terminology and research design techniques that can potentially be helpful. I would be interested, as a health professional, in conducting research along with treating patients. I find it absolutely fascinating that one of podiatrists I shadowed was conducting a survey on one of his therapies used to treat tissue damage. I would be interested in also testing the treatments I may be prescribing to patients to see if they really do work. Through my amazing experience at the CTC, I know I am passionate about medicine. I also am glad that I was able to volunteer all semester long for about 12 hours or more a week. Thus, through my positive experience as an intern I would recommend a medical internship to anyone who is interested learning about health, research techniques, and even in an environment that thrives on organization, a constant need for learning, and the ability to work independently but also in a team.
This was even more positive of an experience because I was abroad. I was lucky to have been able to experience the calm and hardworking Australian workplace.
Other then receiving the very prestigious opportunity of interning at a medical laboratory, I will remember the friendships I have made and the places I have seen for the rest of my life. There is nothing more incredible then to travel, and I was lucky to do it in and around Australia. In Australia with the new friends I made, I was able to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, hike for seven hours through the second largest valley in the world in the Blue Mountains, and see a ballet in the Opera House. I was able to see snow three hours south east of Australia in New Zealand. I went to see the religious temples and monkey filled forests in Indonesia. I most definitely had my “Eat, Pray, Love” moments simply trying new foods and even meeting new people. I am so incredibly proud of what I have accomplished. I am also incredibly excited to have caught the travel bug where I cannot wait to explore the places I barely know how to pronounce, or with the smallest communities, or even with the largest city skylines in order to find something special that I may have never seen before.
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