Maira Salim and classmates return with hands-on public health education from Thailand trip led by Professor Robson.

July 20, 2023

As a public health scientist and professor at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, Mark Robson prefers taking his students out in the field, which happens to involve a two-week trip to Thailand.

After a three-year pandemic pause during which the program was conducted remotely, Robson has resumed his annual service-learning visit to the southeastern Asian nation known for its universal health care system.

Maira Salim, an incoming senior pursuing a major in public health and a minor in biological sciences, said the trip to Thailand was an incredible experience.

“It provided me with a unique opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture, gain valuable insights, and broaden my perspectives,” said Salim, an Edison resident attending the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences as well as the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. “I was struck by the remarkable nature of the country’s health care system and the dedication of its government in ensuring the well-being of its populace.”

Salim added: “The class itself was engaging and thought-provoking, allowing me to explore various aspects of Thai society, history and traditions. I had the chance to interact with local communities, visit historical sites and learn from distinguished public health workers. Overall, it was a truly enriching educational journey.” 

Robson said there are a few crucial notions he hopes his students take back from their trip to Thailand.

“The first one is I want them to understand it’s a just a very different culture,” the professor said. “I want them to understand this whole Eastern thought process. The second thing is I want them to experience a society that is so skewed more toward rural people and the agricultural component. The third thing is I want them to see what universal health care looks like.” 

Salim said that “one of the most remarkable aspects of studying abroad is the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations.”

She encouraged other students to experience a different culture than their own and gain a global perspective.

“By stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing unfamiliar environments, you’ll develop resilience, independence and a greater sense of self,” Salim said. “You’ll learn to navigate different cultural norms, overcome challenges and build connections with people from all walks of life. The friendships you form and the cultural exchange you engage in will shape your character and broaden your perspective on the world.” 

Read the full article on Rutgers Today, July 18, 2023

Recent Posts

Kelly O’Brien (MCRP ’09) Named Fairfax City Hometown Hero

On July 15th, Kelly O'Brien (MCRP '09)  was recognized as a Hometown Hero during Fox 5 DC's Zip Trip visit to Fairfax City. "Although I don't think of myself as a hero, I am grateful for the chance to express my dedication to serving my community and shed light on the...

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Deanna Moran Named MA Chief Coastal Resilience Officer

Deanna Moran, AICP (MPP/MCRP '16) was named the Chief Coastal Resilience Officer by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to address climate change impacts along Massachusetts’ coastline. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced Deanna...

Voorhees Transportation Center seeks new Executive Director

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) seeks a new Executive Director who will oversee the center’s research program, technical services and other initiatives, including external relations, communications, business development, and fundraising. The Executive...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins

Virtual

Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]