CAS '19

Pearl Subramanian

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PGS: Travel to China

Program Abroad:

  • Penn Global Seminars (PGS): Environmental Health Issues, Travel to China

Ask me about...

  • Taking advantage of short-term experiences abroad as a pre-medical student

My Experience Abroad:

The semester-long seminar included a two-week travel component to Nanjing and Shanghai, China. As an Health and Society major with a Global Health concentration, my classes at Penn have trained me to focus heavily on the social determinants of health (education, environment, poverty, race, etc), as well as to analyze how different health systems work around the world. This Global Seminar was a perfect complement to my major and academic interests, providing an opportunity to get both local (US) knowledge about environmental health as well as an international experience. Not only did we hear from top lecturers and study interesting topics such as water quality, climate change, and health policy in the US while we were at Penn, but we also had an academically enriching immersive experience in China. We partnered with medical schools, hospitals, community health clinics, and colleges to learn about the current strengths of the Chinese healthcare systems as well as upcoming challenges. My classmates and I visited the Chinese CDC, researched on a topic of our interest, and spent time learning about everything from pediatric lead poisoning to gestational diabetes to food pricing and nutrition in Chinese markets. It was truly a hands-on learning experience, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to have gone abroad through Penn, all the while satisfying academic requirements in my major.

Other Highlights:

I had a wonderful 2 weeks abroad in Shanghai and Nanjing. In addition to the amazing academic experiences, I was also able to:

  • Form friendships with local Chinese college and medical students

  • Go to Shanghai Disneyland

  • Get acupuncture treatment at a Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital

  • Experience a karaoke club

  • Go to the Dragon Boat Festival

  • Visit local historical and tourist sites

On the Penn Abroad Blog:

Clicks of Culture Shock

Reflecting on the PGS Experience

Return to Penn Abroad Ambassadors