Anna Bartman spent four weeks in Maynooth, Ireland studying at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Before landing in the country she would call home for the next month, she had no idea how much she would learn and experience in those few short weeks? While studying at Maynooth University, she studied modern Irish literature along with the Irish Famine, two subjects that were very different from her regular science courses at her home university. Through both courses she gained a greater knowledge of what life was like for the average Irish person a few hundred years ago. From the outside, Ireland appears to be a great country to live in with a successful economy. Ireland is a great country, however, after learning of all the struggles Ireland faced in the past, she quickly realized life was not easy for the people. Although the classes she took taught her more about Ireland than she thought possible, she learned even more from Irish people and the conversations they had together. Anna plans to work in the medical field in the future and after hearing the troubles of the economy her first question was, “What was healthcare like for the people then and even now?” After a number of conversations and visiting multiple museums, she quickly learned that in order for women to attend medical school, they would have to dress and even live as young men in order to be able to go to school in the mid 1800’s through the 1900’s. Life in Ireland was difficult for almost everyone, especially women wanting to pursue such a career. This is very hard to accept in today’s world, considering Irish women made some of the greatest advancements in healthcare, like the institution of birth control. Hearing this has given her a new appreciation for the opportunities she has been given in America and her ability to openly apply to medical schools.
Our CEE, The Truth Behind the Cities, aimed to reveal the serious issues that take place in various parts of the world and in our own community. For our report, we opened with a presentation that allowed the audience to write down their thoughts on each of our countries. They also expressed any questions they may have had on a notecard that was given to them when they arrived. The goal of the presentation was to provide those in attendance with facts about how serious opioid use, poverty, homelessness and greyhound racing are in other parts of the world. We then compared the issues to those we see in our own communities as well. I focused primarily on opioid abuse for my part of the CEE. I was able to relate what I had learned in Ireland to the research I am currently doing on the opioid epidemic. The notecard each person was given was a specific color that told them which country they would be "visiting" first. We then broke out into discussion tables, where we had prepared multiple questions for our discussions. After about twenty minutes, those in attendance switched countries and were allowed to choose where they wanted to travel to next. Once discussions were finished, we had a panel for anyone to ask questions about our experiences and any country they did not get to go to. Once we were finished with questions, we had food from each of our countries for them to enjoy.