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Indiana University Bloomington
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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Kari Tow
Summer 2001

An Amazing Experience

Although the title is rather generic these three words perfectly encompass my feelings upon reflection of my summer—"An Amazing Experience."

In January of 2001, I, Kari Anne Tow, began applying for public-healthrelated internships with various governmental and non-governmental organizations. Throughout the search for the ideal internship, my preference was to intern at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. After months of waiting, I found out that I was one of the few individuals selected to be an intern at the WHO.

I arrived in Geneva at the end of May, and began my internship at that time. On my way to work I passed by the United Nations complex, the International Red Cross and Crescent Museum, and many other international edifices. As I strolled into the World Health Organization for the first time, I was in disbelief, for as a student majoring in "Health and Biomedicine" the WHO is the epitome of the health arena.

Public Health itself is, of course, extremely interesting to me, but more specifically one personally intriguing area is Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). I worked all summer in the department of STI Surveillance and Epidemiology. My specific project was to redesign and create a new global database for the surveillance of STIs. I completed my project and gave a presentation. I also created a CD-Rom to instruct new users on the details of the database, and a Microsoft Power Point version print out is included in this summary. In addition to the tremendous amount of knowledge I attained specifically while working on my project, I also gained vast experience in the complete functioning of a mass public health structure and international health issues. My co-workers and I easily established a professional relationship and soon became friends. I was invited into their lives and homes as they opted to share their food and culture with me.

Throughout my time abroad I also made the most of the opportunity to explore Europe. My WHO supervisors were very receptive and encouraging of my desire to travel. I had the opportunity to travel to various places in Italy, Spain, France, Monaco, and Switzerland. Being immersed in the European culture was literally a dream come true for me- a small town girl. My hometown shared in my ventures abroad as the Sullivan Daily Times contacted me and published two articles. A copy of the latter article is included in this summary.

In closing, I would like to say, "thank you" to the Indiana University Honors College. This Amazing Experience has changed my life, thus helping me to become a more intelligent, more cultured, and independent young woman.