The University of Iowa

Pharmacy Students: Summer in Mexico

September 22nd, 2009

By Jodie Klein

If only every class could be this applicable:

Class title: International Perspectives: Xicotepec
The final exam: Go to Xicotepec, Mexico, and gain international perspective

Nine students from The University of Iowa ‘s College of Pharmacy were among 17 UI students who got to literally step into their subject matter and make a difference.

Students learned how to partner with nonprofit organizations and local communities to address health care, social services, and environmental quality needs in less developed countries.

After spending the semester planning service projects, the students traveled as part of a project team to Xicotepec, Mexico for a week in the spring of 2009.

Marshall Tuetken
Hometown: Monticello, IA
College of Pharmacy Class of 2010

“I had some inclination of what was going to occur with our project and for the most part it was everything I thought it would be, but I really did not know how I would feel (happy, sad, etc.). I did not end up feeling like I stepped out of my comfort zone— when I say comfort zone I mean a sense of discomfort from within a situation (maybe the project or the environment in general). In fact, I felt very comfortable and found great joy in interacting with the children and the people of Xicotepec.”

Name: Jill Robertson
Hometown: Davenport, IA
College of Pharmacy Class of 2010

“One of the first days there was not enough room for us in the cars to go to one of the schools for de-worming. Another student, Andra, and I decided to walk to the school. We found out on the way it was at a different location then we thought. We were clearly lost and were having troubles communicating with one of the local women that was walking down the street. We went back to were we were staying to try and find someone to help us. While we were talking to one of the other volunteers, a policeman drove up in his truck and asked if he could help us. The lady we had been trying to communicate with flagged down the policeman for us! He told us to hop in the truck and took us to the school. That was just one of the many ways the community welcomed us and kept an eye out for us.”