A day in the life of Rebekah Proffitt studying abroad

Rebekah Proffitt, radiology sophomore.

In the spring of 2018, Rebekah Proffitt, radiology sophomore, was among the first 12 students to have the opportunity to travel to Grenada for two weeks. Grenada is one of the 28 Caribbean islands with a population of 107,317. Students participating in this program were able to take one core class titled Global Health and Wellness.

“It satisfies a core class and I wanted to experience something new,” Proffitt said. “Plus it was on the beach.”

The students stayed in dorms at St. George’s University in True Blue Point, Grenada. On school days, class took place for six hours then the students had the rest of the day to do whatever they wanted.

“We went to class from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a lunch break,” Proffitt said.

Three professors — Michael Mills, international education director, Tammy Kurszewski, respiratory care assistant professor and Jennifer Anderson, respiratory care assistant professor – traveled with the students.

“Dr. Kurszewski and Dr. Anderson were the ones who actually taught the class,” Proffitt said. “It was a great experience to go abroad with professors that truly want the best for their students and were always so encouraging and uplifting.”

According to Anderson, the group would often go on excursions around the island in the afternoon after class.

“It was nice to be able to apply the concepts that we were introducing in the classroom in an actual live environment,” Kurszewski said. “We also integrated an applied research project as part of the curriculum so the opportunities around the island really facilitated completion of those programs. The students had time to observe culture and observe the individuals that were living there on the island and their interactions with each other and with us.”

According to Proffitt, the work was more than just homework and quizzes.

“We had some homework and a few quizzes to complete online, but we mostly did a lot of hands on work during class,” Proffitt said.

Proffitt said after class the students could do whatever they wanted to and she preferred to go to the beach.

“The weather was beautiful and the temperature was in the 80s the whole time,” Proffitt said. “It rained a few times, but their showers don’t last that long at all. We made sure to go to the local beach every day.”

The people in Grenada were very nice and kind to the visiting students, Proffitt said. The locals showed the students around and introduced them to their culture and food.

“The food was basically Americanized, but just seemed a lot more fresh. There weren’t as many preservatives in the food,” Proffitt said. 

Proffitt had almost nothing negative to say about the trip, however her classmate Julianne Plambeck, nursing junior, spoke about the difference between our transportation and theirs.

“The transportation system in Grenada is really efficient,” Plambeck said. “But since there aren’t any roads, stop signs, stop lights, or speed limits it was definitely a roller coaster every time we got on there.”

According to Plambeck, St. George’s University is very similar to Midwestern State, but just on an island.

“I absolutely loved the university and the city,” Proffitt said. “I found the locals could tend to get a little too touchy, but overall I didn’t have a single bad encounter. I loved our whole group- the professors, my classmates, everyone. They were so nice and kind.”

The study abroad program will be returning to Grenada in 2019 and it’s likely this will be a reoccurring destination in future years.

“I would highly recommend any students who need to take Global Health and Wellness [to] study abroad to take it,” Proffitt said. “I will never forget my experience in Grenada and what fun I had with my classmates and the local people.”