Expand your global view and study nutrition abroad like me in Peru!
This past summer I participated in a program offered by Iowa State University where I spent 28 days in the capital city of Lima, studying international nutrition at the Instituto de Investigación Nutricional (IIN). The IIN is a private research institute that undertakes research and educational activities related to health and nutrition. This study abroad program consisted of two, 2-week modules that focused on community and nutrition education and community-based research. There was a total of 15 participants that represented four different universities, 3 from the US and 1 from Canada. I was the only one representing Cal Poly Pomona – Go Broncos! The program also included 6 Peruvian nutrition students, making this a total of 21 students, and a melting pot of diversity.
In the first two weeks we got into groups of 4-5 to conduct research within the Peruvian community. My group tested for an association between taste preference for sweetness in a popular Peruvian drink, Chicha Morada, and BMI amongst pre-school aged children. This was a fun hands on experience in the field of nutrition research. In the second half of the course we were immersed within the community and provided nutrition education to mothers in need. In a total of 28 days, I conducted research, provided nutrition education and counseling, traveled to the highlands of Peru where I was able to cohabit with a native community in the city of Chiclayo, hike the mountain lands of Huascaran, and experience the capital city of Lima. I returned to the US with an expanded view of global nutrition and greater sense of passion for our field.
I know what you’re thinking, this sounds great but I can’t afford to study abroad, and that’s where you are wrong. You can have a similar experience as me and there are scholarships to help! The Gilman International Scholarship for one is the one I went through which helped pay for half of my trip! This program aims to help students like us who want to expand their global views and enhance our career opportunities. The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is aimed towards US undergraduate students who demonstrate high financial needs. The application process involves an online application that includes uploading your official transcripts and uploading an online certification from your study abroad and financial aid advisors. Deadlines and more information regarding the application process can be found on their website: http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program.
So what are you waiting for? Whether it’s to network, gain a global perspective, learn a new culture , explore your career options, or just to travel, step out of the normal boring classroom routine and step into the real world. Your study abroad experience awaits you.
P.S. The international nutrition in Peru program is offered on a bi-yearly basis by Iowa State, so stay on the look out in 2017.
Any questions regarding the program offered by Iowa State or on how to apply for the Gilman Scholarship please leave in the comments below, I am happy to answer them! ☺