Summer Travels Abroad

Sunni Wenson, 1st year Behavioral Science and Health Education student 

I thought I’d share with you some of the exciting aspects of Rollins School of Public Health. As you all may or may not know, Rollins is a huge supporter of international health and encourages us to pursue opportunities abroad in various public health topics. Hence, why our Global Health dept receives many more applications than most public health programs.

I came to Rollins with an interest in HIV/AIDS and vulnerable/high risk populations, internationally. As a result of talking with various individuals and exploring options I’ve recently accepted a GFE position (Global Field Experience, get used to the acronyms, folks) for this summer! For those wondering what a GFE (pronounced Jiffy) is, it is just an opportunity for students to travel abroad over the summer to conduct research, implement curriculum, provide disaster relief aid, etc. The possibilities are truly endless. In many cases, the group you are working with may not be able to cover the costs associated with your trip. This is where Emory steps in to save the day! Rollins has funds specifically for GFE projects. After a super intense couple of weeks, you will present the GFE committee with a proposal on why they should financially support your endeavors.

This summer I’ll be traveling to Lusaka, Zambia with the Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group (RZHRG). My goals are to explore the individual and environmental barriers and facilitators of condom use among female sex workers (FSW) in two regions of Zambia. I’ll be creating interview guides to be used in focus group discussions as well as survey items. In a nutshell, I’ll be collecting both quantitative and qualitative data on this issue. Hopefully the results of my project will provide RZHRG with insight into the social issues FSW face when it comes to sexual health and using protection.

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This is just one of the many very cool experiences offered here at Rollins. I definitely think what goes on outside of the classroom is just as important as actual academic work and should be considered when you are making your decision.

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