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Cassa Drury

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Biomedical Engineering / Neuroscience
Program: Scotland: Innovation in the National Health Care System (Burch Field Research Seminar)
Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Term: Summer 2019


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
Perfectly fit the credits I needed (BME classes and Honors credit) and my interest in Health care systems and design. Studying the NHS provided a perfect lens into a different health care system while also shedding light on our own US health care system and lessons we can learn from both. My engineering class was also incredible because we got to know a different makers space and tools that we do not have at UNC.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned so much about myself. I realized there's value in not planning every step along the way when you're traveling - some of the most fun things we did we just happened upon. I learned that when you're using other people's materials and makers space that I am not always quick to ask for help. I got better as the program went on because it was a necessary skill to get our work done correctly.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One day when the weather was nice we decided to have class on top of Arthur's seat (a mountain people climb to get a beautiful view of the city). We sat about half way up the mountain and talked about the economic state of the US health care system. I don't know if it was the location or because we were in a circle in a beautiful location, but our discussion was incredible that day. It was so much fun as far as class goes.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Our program was designed where we weren't in class with Scottish students. If I had advice it would be to try your best to engage with the locals. Some of the most meaningful cultural experience I had was when I went out of my way to talk to Scottish people about their experience living/going to school/working there/ etc.


Would you do it again?
ABSOLUTELY. I would love to do my program again.


How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
I think one of the best parts of this program was that we had a lot of class time with each other and with our professor Kenny Donnelly. Our 20 person program had discussions, round tables, problem solving sessions, and presentations all of which would have been different at UNC because of the class size. STEM classes usually are larger, and junior BME design in particular is a lot of independent work. Being able to work in a collaborative environment on such challenging topics was one of the most valuable parts of my study abroad program. I loved having the ability to talk to our professor about his experience growing up in Scotland and getting to take field trips to hospitals and companies in the area. Overall these were easily two of the best classes I've taken at UNC to date.


How do you identify?
Scholarship Recipient