My name is Kimberly Valle and I am a third year undergraduate student at the University of California, Merced. My declared major is Public Health with a minor in Psychology.
During the summer of 2017, I was able to study abroad in Bangkok, Thailand through the U.C. Education Abroad Program (http://uc.eap.ucop.edu/). The Thailand program consisted of educational courses in the capital (Bangkok) and field work in Mae Sot, Thailand. Through this study abroad experience I was able to work with vulnerable populations near the Thai-Burmese border. I also worked closely with the healthcare providers of Mae Tao Clinic, which provides free health care services for immigrants in the Thai-Burmese border. Along with my classmates, I created a prototype for the Mae Tao Clinic healthcare providers, which consisted of a self-care workshop to reduce their stress levels.
Through this work, I gained hands-on field experience and learned different techniques for gathering data, communicating health information, and promoting human health through communication and community engagement. I came back from Thailand convinced that pursuing a career in public health is the right choice for me. I will graduate next year and plan to apply to Masters in Public Health (MPH) programs. I am excited for the next phase of my career in public health!