Haliyat Oshodi

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Oakland

Haliyat Oshodi is an outgoing Jersey girl who grew up in a bustling Nigerian household. She is currently a Public health major at the University of Pittsburgh and hopes to eventually get her Master's. Her long-term goals include creating programs to eliminate health disparities, providing scholarships for students with low income, and working to find a solution to the top 3 deadliest illnesses in Africa, which are Malaria, Tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Haliyat and her siblings are the first generations in their family to be born in America and attend college, this fuels Haliyat to be determined to achieve her goals because her family didn't have that opportunity. Because of her connection with Africa, one of Haliyat's biggest goals is to visit different countries in Africa and immerse herself in different cultures in order to get herself one step closer to fulfilling her goal of finding solutions to illnesses in Africa. Being a low-income student hinders her from traveling to Africa, which is why she hopes in the future to provide funding to low-income students. She hopes that through this study abroad experience, she can start her journey of fulfilling her goals. Outside of Haliyat's efforts to change the world, she also likes to read, shop, and advocate for what's right.  
International Experience Summary:

Haliyat Oshodi spent 8 weeks in Gaborone, Botswana studying public health. Through the CIEE program, she was able to study community public health, pre-professional health care issues in Botswana, and the Setswana language and culture at the University of Botswana. Through her studies, she was able to gain a deeper understanding of the healthcare system in Botswana and how it could be improved. She had the opportunity to observe several clinics around the city twice a week, where she learned how the clinics operated and their differences from the United States. She was also able to observe amazing things, such as a baby being born. In addition to this, Haliyat was able to visit many public health facilities such as the Sbrana Mental Health Hospital, where she learned about how people with different diseases or disabilities get treated. One of Haliyat’s most notable experiences was creating her first health intervention in the village of Kgope in the Kweneng district. She had the opportunity to visit the village 3 times to help put together a health intervention that can help the village for years to come. Haliyat, along with other students in the program, decided to create a health expo where there were health screenings and presentations on sexual and reproductive health, general health and wellness, and alcohol and drug abuse. There were also many resources such as seeds for farming and food given out to the village. Haliyat’s study abroad experience did not only involve studying but also going on multiple game drives and excursions like the Khama Rhino Sanctuary and Mokolodi nature reserve to view the wonderful wildlife Botswana had to offer. She saw various animals such as rhinos, elephants, giraffes, and zebra. She also attended braais and visited cultural villages to immerse herself in the culture. She had the opportunity to visit Cape Town and Victoria, Falls Zimbabwe during holiday breaks. During her international experience, Haliyat learned more about the importance of public health and is inspired to go even deeper into the field by getting her Ph.D. Haliyat misses everyone from the program and hopes to return to Botswana soon. 

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: “Who Am I?: Discovering Intersectionality”

The main idea of the Who Am I?: Discovering Intersectionality CEE is to discuss intersectionality and how it connects with identity and privilege. Intersectionality refers to the way “in which systems of inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class, and other forms of discrimination “intersect” to create unique dynamics and effects,” (intersectionaljustice.org). The first part of the CEE included Keeley and I introducing ourselves and asking the participants to write down on a sheet of paper their definition of intersectionality. We had them set the paper aside for later and we introduced the personal identity wheel and had the participants fill it out. We then lead a group discussion to talk about our answers. The next part of the CEE was introducing the social identity wheel. We handed the worksheet out and had the participants fill it out. This exercise was accompanied by an activity that involved the different parts of the social identity wheel (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc) hung up in different parts of the room. The participants were asked to go into the middle of the room and walk to the paper labeled with a part of the social identity wheel that corresponds to the question we ask (an example of a question was “What part of your identity do you think people first notice about you?”) and put a symbol or initials on the paper. After this activity, we debriefed with several discussion questions. The next step of the CEE was the privilege walk, we asked the audience to line up in a straight line in the middle of the room, we read several statements and if it applied to them, they took steps forward and backward. We also ended this activity with a debrief to ask the participants how they were feeling at the end. For the conclusion of the event, we had everyone retrieve the papers on which they wrote the definition of intersectionality and asked what new things they learned and how they would improve their definition. Lastly, we asked for feedback on the event.