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By Rubby Wuabu
Madeline Egan, a public health major with a psychology minor, says she transferred to Simmons from the University of Connecticut wanting to study abroad but also to graduate early. This presented a challenge until she learned about the Human Rights in South Africa course.
"This travel course was the right match, because it is during the summer, so I don't have to give up a whole semester, which would have hindered me from graduating early," she says.
Madeline says she plans to focus her research on health education in South Africa and hopes to discern how it has evolved since its creation, asking: Is it still successful? And what can be done to improve it?
"Most importantly, I want to enrich my knowledge in public health outside the U.S.," she says. "This will enable me to compare and contrast with the system in the U.S. system. It will be good to have diversity in my experiences."
"I am worried about the emotional rollercoaster that we will experience as we travel from community to community. But it will be a great experience to learn and to explore," she adds.
Asha Nair Noonan graduated this year, majoring in communications on the integrated media track and minoring in political science. "Last summer I did an internship with the democratic national committee, which reminded me how much I loved politics, so I decided to minor in political science," she says. "I am taking this class to fulfill my minor as well as because I love to travel."
The description of the course attracted her, she says, adding that she feels prepared because she has taken media courses and read a lot on South Africa.. Although she has yet to narrow it down, she says she wants to research something about the arts program. However, she worries about having to interview people there because she is shy
Taylor Barge, 21, is an Africana Studies major. She says she cannot wait to travel to South Africa, both to expand her undergraduate experience and because as a black woman from a wealthy community, she has never felt like she belonged anywhere.
Barge was one of six black students in her graduating class of 60 at a private school in Stamford, Conn. She says she was shocked when she was met with rejection at Simmons because she did not match what others considered a black woman should be, so traveling to South Africa will be personal journey to explore her own identity. She also hopes to learn more about apartheid and to compare it with the civil rights movement in the U.S.