Jillian Gross

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

Duquesne University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

This past summer, Jill Gross spent five weeks at Veritas University in San Jose, Costa Rica, studying Medical Spanish and Introduction to Physical Therapy through the organization International Study Abroad. She learned how to discuss, in Spanish, the symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments for many common diseases. Additionally, she had the opportunity to participate in a class trip to visit a clinic and shadow physicians in downtown San Jose. During the class, she was required to engage in simulated patient interviews with Costa Rican students to practice her Spanish. At the end of the five weeks, Jill took part in a health fair for the Costa Rican faculty and students, where she demonstrated the skills she learned in Medical Spanish and Introduction to Physical Therapy. She gave massages, spoke about nutrition, and discussed healthy posture. Jill thoroughly became immersed in the culture because she lived with a Costa Rican family that spoke entirely Spanish. Throughout the summer, Jill spent her free time participating in Costa Rican dance and cooking classes, as well as spending time with her host family. On the weekends, she traveled to a beach, a rainforest, a volcano, and even Panama.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Embody the Rhythm

For her CEE, Jillian helped to create Embody the Rhythm, a cultural dance event which highlighted their individual international experiences. In each journey, they experienced passion for a culture, for a country, for a people. The team shared this passion with an audience of over a hundred people in the O’Hara Ballroom at Pitt Oakland. The audience enjoyed a delicious spread of appetizers catered by Sodexo Food Service followed by twenty-one short cultural performances representing countries as diverse as China, Greece and the Ukraine.