New College Nottingham students gain valuable medical experience in India
Twelve students from New College Nottingham travelled to Madurai, India with Projects Abroad to spend two weeks volunteering on a medical project. As part of their health studies course, the students chose Medicine in India with the aim of gaining the medical experience that is difficult to get in the UK.
The students raised over £2,000 each to pay for the trip. To do this they arranged a number of activities to raise money including a bake sale, a raffle where they raffled off a Projects Abroad inspired cake, as well as bag packing in a supermarket. They also had support from firms such as the local Indian restaurant called “4,550 Miles Away From Delhi”.
The Head of Nottingham’s science, technology, engineering and maths academy, Caroline Houldsworth, came up with the idea of the students going overseas to gain experience in the medical field, "It was a terrific experience for the students to be able to witness what they did. There are different laws out there in India, which meant they could get much closer to things such as watching babies being delivered by caesarean section."
Working in the hospital was both interesting and emotional for the students, as they were exposed to a completely different culture. One student, Sarah Morton, described seeing a mother turn away her new born baby because it was a girl, “That was upsetting to see. That is an example of how cultures can be totally different. That particular culture wants their first child to be a boy.”
With most of the students wanting to enter the healthcare profession after school, this experience gave them a taste of the world they are planning to work in, "It is really helpful to get to know and experience these cultures. That kind of experience can be useful in the future," said Sarah.
“It was an amazing trip. There were so many highlights, such as when we visited the hospital cancer ward and we managed to make a little girl laugh with our drawings, even though she couldn't speak English,” said Abigail Walker, who is now more determined than ever to become a midwife.
Due to the success of the volunteering journey, Caroline Houldsworth said she hoped that the trip can become a regular part of the academy's agenda.