Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Applying to Cambodia

I'm applying to a program in Cambodia for this summer :D I'll post more about it if I get accepted, but here's my application essay:

Learning to Better the World

Like Anne Frank, as I child, I believed that people were genuinely good and for the most part this was true in my short, sheltered life. Unfortunately, my naïveté receded as my eyes opened to the hardship and terrors experienced by millions of people around the world daily. In the depths of my heart, I have always yearned to help the world’s forgotten people. My career plans have revolved around this conviction. For many years I have strived to become a doctor, and I plan to apply to medical school June 2007. With my education, I plan to work overseas, helping those who need it most.

In my opinion, the most conducive manner of decreasing violence and hate in a community is to improve the quality of life. This includes better health, education, and safety. For these reasons, I began taking public health classes at the University of Southern Indiana to further my knowledge of how to improve the health of an entire community. Cambodia is a prime example of a country that was forced to start over after the despotic regime of an unbalanced dictator. His horrendous acts terrorized the hearts, minds, and lives of the gentle Khmer people. It is a real-world case study for many programs begun by international governmental and non-governmental organizations to rebuild a torn nation. By studying in Cambodia and learning about its turbulent history and progress, I will be able to use this knowledge toward creating a better world for a couple of people or even a village.

I will be able to make the most of my trip there based upon activities and trips I have taken in the past. As a high school student in Mexico, I studied in a complete immersion program through Indiana University where I was not permitted to speak English for 8 weeks. I gained independence and self-confidence in both the language and myself. Two summers later, I traveled to Monteverde, Costa Rica through CIEE where I took classes in tropical biology, agroecology, and sustainable development and conducted my own research project. I learned about the impacts of human actions on the environment at a biological level and I also realized the treasures that could be lost if detrimental habits are not curbed in time. During the summer of 2006, I worked as a student intern in the emergency room at Munster Community Hospital, an experience that taught me both the value and the frailty of life and the true human spirit. I have been very involved in my university from working as student worker at the Evansville Center Indiana University School of Medicine to founding the South Asian Student Union on campus. Addtionally, my involvement as secretary of the International Club has been a great joy to me to learn about different cultures and make friends from around the world.

For all of these reasons, I feel that I wouldn’t have trouble acclimating to new environments, and by studying in Cambodia I will grow into a better person and a true global citizen. I will open my eyes to a new region of the globe and along with it will come new perspectives on life and survival.

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