Having a Social Life while Undertaking a Hospital Internship Abroad
One of the most interesting things about hospital internships abroad is the immersion to a new and different culture. It is also one of the elements that make travelling abroad authentic and unique. This is because every location has its own uniqueness. For instance if you decide to travel to Kenya, which is found at the East part of Africa, you are bound to experience a diverse culture considering the country consists of over 46 tribes, each with its unique way of living.
Having a social life while undertaking a hospital internship abroad will help you to not only discover and enjoy the beauty of the host country but also to put your life into perspective. The end outcome is a more open, compassionate and appreciative individual.
Here are some ways to have a social life abroad
- Interacting with the local people
“Most travel, and certainly the rewarding kind, involves depending on the kindness of strangers, putting yourself into the hands of people you don’t know and trusting them with your life.” Says American writer Paul Theroux .
While abroad, surround yourself with the people either within or without the hospital, and who knows, you may create some long life friendship. You are likely to experience language barrier, but don’t let this bar you from having fun. Learn a word or two and use it with the locals. You can visit their markets where you are bound to interact with a lot of people in addition to getting souvenirs for your family. You can also try the public transport, which is a thrilling experience. In most Africa countries, the use of public service vehicle is still rampant. In Kenya they have been dubbed ‘Matatu’s ‘ and Arusha they are referred to ‘Dala dala’ these are normally used as the major means of transport for connection to estates, towns and counties. Apart from having the experience of travelling in these means of transport, you are also going to learn more on their culture.
- Integrating into the community
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open,” says Jawaharial Nehru. Am sure you’ve seen or heard a number of stories about Africa. Talk of poverty, drought, you name it. Beyond these calamities are lovely communities with unique cultures to be discovered. To get the best of your host community, integration is key. Try their food as well as learn their recipes, learn their language, attend their events, learn their music and dance.
- Understanding their way of life
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends,” says American writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. With an open mind you are capable of not only understanding your host’s way of life but also be able to appreciate it. For instance how do the people in Coastal Kenya do their greetings? With time even as you work at Coast Provincial General Hospital you will learn that greetings depend on time, seniority in terms of age and familiarity with the person at hand. This is similar in most communities in Kenya and Tanzania.
- Undertaking volunteer activities
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” says Mahatma Gandhi. You have an opportunity to impact on someone’s life through volunteering your skills, time and love. In return you are going to not only learn
their language but also improve on your life skills like cross – cultural aptitude. You can also form a social group with the local community e.g. sports group where they go for swimming or playing football in the evening, have walks together.
Elective Africa provides you a great opportunity to have a social when abroad. With numerous activities ranging from local area excursions, Swahili lessons to volunteering, one is able to get immersed into the culture of their hosting community.