August 20, 2012

Dr. Lis Maring, director of Global Public Health Scholars and Faculty Research Associate in Family Science, led a summer study abroad program to Northern India. The program offered 11 University of Maryland students the opportunity to glimpse complex health and development issues, to compare and contrast their own life experiences, and to explore global health firsthand.

Mili Duggal, doctoral student in Maternal and Child Health was the TA. Students began their journey in Delhi and Agra, shopping in local markets and visiting the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world. Then it was off to the holy city, Varanasi, where they visited the Institute of Medical Sciences at Banaras Hindu University, experienced a cultural program of Indian classical music, and took a mystical boat ride on the Ganges River. At their final destination, Manali, located in the picturesque Himalayas, students participated in lecture and discussion and conducted individual research projects choosing a local hospital, schools, or village health workers for interviews on health topics.

Examples of student projects included: exploration of cultural practices around childbirth, health impact of biofuel use on patients in the hospital, perceptions about the dangers of tobacco use among adolescents, perceptions of the daily lives and stressors among adolescents, interviews with local Anganwadi workers who provide basic health and nutrition needs for children under 6 in rural areas, and perceptions of ayurvedic medicine.

View the Flickr album of photos from their trip.