Emma Louie

International Experience Country:
Italy and Costa Rica
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Chatham University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
Emma Louie is a junior at Chatham University studying Exercise Science, with plans to obtain my Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. She has been involved in several school extracurriculars, such as the Chatham Swim Team, Student Academic Athletic Council (SAAC) and the MedLife Program. She enjoys spontaneous adventures including hiking and road trips, and anything that involves spending time with family and friends.  She’s excited to have the opportunity to travel and learn about different microcosms in different cultures and how that relates to the world.  She also loves to work with children through teaching swim lessons, volunteering, and babysitting.  Physical therapy is very important to her as she wishes to work in a pediatric rehabilitation hospital with special needs children with her degree."
International Experience Summary:

Emma Louie had the opportunity to participate in a virtual internship and remotely study for eight weeks this summer through CEA and USAC. Her internship was with Med in Action, a medical service based in Rome, Italy. She was responsible for producing blog content relating to a variety of health topics for this company, such as the coronavirus pandemic in Europe and mental health, to allow Med in Action patients to learn in an engaging way. Throughout the internship, Emma was able to attend cultural discussions and complete global activities that allowed her to learn about Italian culture, even though she was unable to be in Rome physically.

Aside from her internship, Emma also studied global health virtually and had the opportunity to learn directly from a practicing medical doctor in Costa Rica. In this discussion-based class, her weekly workload consisted of reviewing two medical case studies a week and preparing a weekly presentation on a medical topic assigned by her professor. Many of the presentations she created focused on diseases that are common to South American countries and other parts of the world. Moreover, she was able to learn firsthand knowledge of the Costa Rican health care system through the assistance of a medical professional. Emma plans to further advance her education by attending graduate school for physical therapy. She hopes to pursue her goals of working as a traveling physical therapist, specifically within the pediatric field, on a global scale. She wants to work towards providing adequate services and care to countries that need assistance the most. Although her global experience remained virtual this summer, Emma persevered and made the most of the situation, as well as gaining the skills that she feels will help her succeed in the healthcare field and hopes to have the opportunity to visit Italy in person soon.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:


CEE Title: Finding Resilience 

Our CEE event was presented as a roundtable event, with a focus on the topic of resilience. Resilience, or the ability to recover quickly from difficulties or challenges, is something that we have seen an increase in the last two years due to the pandemic. Individuals have faced lost opportunities and last-minute changes in their lives, which has disrupted the goals and plans of many. On our panel, each member of the cohort discussed their travel abroad story with the VIH program and how they found resilience. Our members each had different study abroad experiences, with one choosing a French language-based course and the other opting for an internship and a global health course. Yet both were faced with similar challenges, such as having to switch the courses over to a virtual format and balancing jobs alongside the study abroad experience.

In addition to the cohort presentations, Dr. Melissa Bell, a social work professor at Chatham University, gave her own presentation on resilience, as she has a course dedicated to the topic that she teaches on campus. From Dr. Bell’s presentation, the audience was presented with several key takeaways. These key takeaways included finding the motivation to goal chase once more, putting oneself back out in the real world again, and that major goals sometimes are not too far out of reach, and with a slight adjustment to a daily routine, those goals can be achieved. Finally, the cohort wanted the audience to know that they are not alone with the challenges that they face. At the end of the CEE presentation, a list of mental health and mindfulness resources was included, in addition to volunteering, art, and culture resources. This CEE allowed the cohort to not only share the knowledge of what was learned through the international programs but also what was gained in order to achieve cultural growth as an individual.