Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Richard M. Showman, PhD.

First Reader

Jim Clark

Second Reader

Jim Clark


During my first year as an undergraduate student, I was planning out my next four years and trying to decide which classes I could and should take. As a Biological Sciences Major. Neuroscience and Spanish minor hoping to enter Medical School. I was aware that the next 4 years were going to be rigorous and demanding to say the least. Between my required classes for Biology and the Honors College requirements. I did not have too much leeway. I knew that I wanted to study abroad, but I could not do it during the academic year, and summers were occupied with volunteering, studying for the MCAT or taking supplemental classes. There was no class that combined my interest in medicine with my love of traveling and different cultures. I began to speak to my advisor at the Honors College, and what originally began as a fundraiser to take medical supplies to Romania slowly turned into the possibility of having an actual class which would expose students to a different culture of medicine. Development in this direction was marked by several obstacles, but it was generally received positively both by USC as well as the Romanian counterparts. The following year, a trip was made to Romania with my newly appointed project-director/mentor: Dr.Showman. This initial trip was essential as it laid the cornerstones for relationships that would develop over the next 3 years. The first class went to Romania in 2011. The 16 students set a very high standard which all future classes would be held to. Their experiences were qualified by journals which they were encouraged to keep daily and which were later used to tweak aspects of the course. The second edition of the course saw several changes which have so far yielded positive results.

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