Global health trips offer real-world experience for students


Members of the New Generation Queens in Zanzibar pose for a photo with Brookline students after an exhilarating game of soccer.

Rachel Nguyen, Staff Writer

Are you interested in global health and taking a stand to promote change for healthcare worldwide? If so, you are in luck because the high school offers many unique trips around the world that focus on global health.

Seeking out these opportunities may be hard at first, but all you need to do is be willing to take a risk, show interest in learning about global health and keep an open mind about going into unfamiliar territory.

Over the past few years, senior Sam Esquivel has travelled to Berlin and gone on four domestic trips as well. He said the trips are an opportunity to explore different interests during a transformative period of life.

“When you are in high school, you are trying to figure out what you want to do with your life,” Esquivel said. “High school can lead you to discover things you might find interesting and that’s wonderful because you are going to have to go to college and major in something you like.”

According to Esquivel, the trips can provide valuable experiences, and they shouldn’t be overlooked.

“When you can learn directly from the source, that has inherent value,” Esquivel said. “Like you can read a textbook and you can talk all you want with teachers. You can read things, but it’s hard to put into comparison what you could learn from doing something. It’s going from a classroom to a real world experience.”

According to sophomore Melanie Chernin, going on a trip to Nicaragua positively impacted her high school experience.

“I had a really amazing time and it definitely got me more involved,” Chernin said. “When I came back I felt like I was more a part of this school than just a freshman because I felt like I was doing stuff that meant something.”

At the 2017 World Health Summit in Berlin, students pose in front of the Reichstag building after hearing global health leaders.

Esquivel encourages students to apply for the trips if they are interested in global health and networking with professionals in the field.

“If you’re going to go, you’re going to do stuff, you’re going to prepare, you’re going to learn. It’s valuable and people should pursue it,” Esquivel said. “It’s really fun. I think people can be intimidated, but you take a risk. I think if you want to do it, if you are passionate about it, you can definitely do it.”

According to Chernin, taking risks is important to help you learn where your interests lie.

“Advice for freshmen if they’re nervous would be to take advantage of the many opportunities that are offered at the high school. Get involved in anything that you can and that will help you find out what you’re interested in,” Chernin said. “I didn’t realize how interested I was in human relations and global connections, but after this trip I realized this is something I want to do.”

According to sophomore Mia Pujols Briceno, going on the trip to Nicaragua as a freshman allowed her to be a part of the planning process for future trips.

“We were setting the bar as freshmen,” Pujols Briceno said. “Now we have the opportunity to talk about it with board members and say how we can improve and set the bar for the next trips.”