Oct. 18, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Nearly one year since she completed her women's soccer career at UC Davis, Katherine Webb continues to play a vital role as a member of a different team. Currently studying abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico, Webb also assists local physicians, rotating from one location to the next alongside her classmates.
A neurobiology, physiology & behavior who will graduate in 2014, Webb's study abroad program allows her to gain hands-on experience to supplement the material covered throughout her classes. In addition to taking classes on Latino health in the United States, indigenous healing methods and comparing the health care systems between the U.S. and Mexico, she also visits numerous clinics and hospitals three days each week.
"Already in five weeks I have seen and done more than I ever would back home; I've watched several surgeries from just a few feet away and helped physicians with basic procedures," said Webb.
When not in class or touring local medical facilities, Webb also spends six hours each week taking a Spanish class geared towards non-native speakers -- half of the time is dedicated towards learning medical terminology and jargon in the local tongue.
In addition to serving as a classroom professor, Dra. Adela de la Torre also splits her time as vice chancellor of the school Webb attends. Including her class, Webb's professors, physicians and guest lecturers are all conducted in Spanish, no exception.
"The material (while abundant), has been fascinating and is helping everyone become more culturally competent health care workers," added Webb.
Spearheaded by Webb, a group of American students also spend their Saturdays visiting Hijos de la Luna, a house where approximately 50 children ages 1-13 spend their day due to their parents' work schedules. For some children, Hijos de la Luna is the only home they know.
"We spend our time playing with them, helping them with their classes and give them the love and attention they need at this age. This experience is absolutely amazing, I feel lucky to participate," said Webb.
Even though her athletics career concluded last year, Webb still tries to find time to play the sport she loves.
"I'm even working on joining a local soccer team here, I cannot spend too many days away from the sport!"
Visit studyabroad.ucdavis.edu to learn more regarding the numerous education abroad programs available for UC Davis students.