Master of Public Health Areeba Shaikh

GRIP: Intern in South Africa

Program Abroad:

  • Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP): TASK Applied Science Intern in Cape Town, South Africa

Ask me about...

  • Being abroad for the very first time without family

  • Being out of your comfort zone

  • Learning about the local culture and people

My Experience Abroad:

My internship in Cape Town was at an organization called TASK Applied Science that does clinical trials on drug-resistant Tuberculosis. I interned in their marketing and outreach department where I primarily worked on a patient education video. I, along with my fellow GRIP intern, Selena Huang, developed a questionnaire to assess the knowledge of the general public regarding clinical trials. We then used the results from our surveys to script and storyboard a video that would, once created, be played in clinics/hospital waiting rooms to educate the public about what clinical trials are and their importance, to dispel any myths about them, and to inform them of ways to get involved. 

My project relates to my degree here at Penn because as a student of public health, I am very interested in alleviating the knowledge gaps among the general public regarding matters of concern. TB is a major public health issue in South Africa, and being able to closely work with a team at an organization that is so diligently working to eradicate TB was a very rewarding experience. 

Other Highlights:

  • Eating at least 7 different types of cuisines and some of the best fish and chips!

  • Visiting Robben Island and learning so much about the history of South Africa

  • Taking the cable car up the Table Mountain and witnessing the breathtaking views of the entire city and surrounding ocean from the top of the mountain

  • Interacting with the locals through community engagement projects at TASK

  • The diversity among the people, languages, religions is something I absolutely loved about the city

On the Penn Abroad Blog:

Ciao Cape Town, See You Soon!

Way Out of My Comfort Zone!

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