Welcome! I hope this brief summary serves as an impetus for you to look into studying abroad with the Public Health Program in Bali. I have spent some time reflecting on my journey this past year. Wow! What a year it has been. This past summer was one of the best summers I’ve had in my 20 years of existence. Between the months of July to August 2014, I had the opportunity to visit Bali, Indonesia, a culturally diverse island with rich history.
Bali, Indonesia is located on a remote island where the traditional practices and ideals of its people have not been entirely influenced by large companies and corporations. This is particularly beneficial because students in the Public Health Program in Bali are able to gain valuable insight about traditional ceremonies, delicious cuisine, languages, and customs that have been practiced for decades.
Participating in class and working side-by-side with local non-governmental organizations was one of the most rewarding experiences that I encountered. The concepts and materials we covered in lecture were applied first-hand in the daily events students attended. I hope you consider attending the Public Health Program in Bali this summer – you won’t regret it!
– Raul Jaimes
As I reminisce about my time spent in Bali, there are so many things that I want to write about; however, I am not sure where to begin. Every aspect of my time spent there was filled with beautiful memories that I want to remember and record. Walking to class every morning on school days, taking road trips across Bali Island on the weekends, spending afternoons in a botanical garden learning about different plants and herbs, and exchanging knowledge on folding cranes are only among the few memories out of the many that I want to share.
During my time in Bali, I learned many lessons that impacted my life and transformed how I view the world. I learned that time is more valuable beyond measure. As Saint Augustine said, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Upon my return home, my friends asked me, “How was your trip to Bali?” I answered, “Five week is long enough to meet and make friends; however, it is not long enough to say goodbye.”
Bali was a beautiful place; nevertheless, it was the people that captured my heart.
-Por You Jennifer Lim
Bali mornings were consistently wonderful for me. Most mornings, I woke up in my room in the Nyoman Warta Homestay, and listened: Sometimes I could hear drizzle, patting the huge leaves of tropical rainforest plants in the yard, sometimes I could hear the whistles of unfamiliar birds. As I became familiar with my companions, I also grew to enjoy their company around our breakfast table. Whatever else would happen during the day, would happen, but mornings with Kat, Elizabeth, Miko, Janessa, Jasmine and Irene, The Warta Clan, were special to me.
Many other memories come to mind: walking quietly along the coast, talking with locals, Bintang evenings, and floating in the ocean with the rising sun. One of my favorite memories from Bali was hiking Mt. Agung with Lauren and Keerthanaa and breakfasting at the peak. Climbing that mountain, in the rain, was one of the hardest, most rewarding experiences of my life.
Whether you’re walking to school or riding La Bestia, always remember what Dave Marshak said: “It’s not how far you go, it’s how go you far.” Safe travels.
Bali was a great life experience. I was able to experience the province in a way, different than most who visit. What I remember best is how I lived in a place that resulted from a mixture of both tradition and modernization – of culture, and tourism.
My background in Public Health has taught me that modernization brings great advances for a country’s inhabitants, their health, and ultimately their life expectancy – something I believe to be one of the greatest accomplishments of modernization. However, in Bali, where modernization is spurred on by the influx of tourists and the tourism business, I was exposed to some of the negative consequences of tourism and modernization.
I used to always view tourism with this wonderful, golden light. It is a very great thing, yes, but in Bali, tourism does more than just bring money into the province. With regard to modernization, tourism also affects the government, the environment, society, and the Balinese culture and their traditions. I do not look down upon the idea of modernization, but there are many changes it brings that a lot of people do not realize. Being able to see the island in its process of developing – as the Balinese people try to keep their traditions while being pushed and rushed into modernization – is something I can not really put into words.
Another thing I remember is seeing the happiness of the Balinese people; a unique, unbridled happiness that came from just being able to share with us their cultures and traditions. What do we have in America that lets us do the same? Disneyland? Smart Phones? Are those things truly our own? Being in Bali opened my eyes to many things that previously, never even crossed our mind.
Looking back on it, my time in Bali was not just a place for me to advance in my academic career. I learned that, going into any area with the idea of “helping” is a very, very privileged mindset, and some people even become lost within that idea. To believe oneself as being superior over another can be a fatal mistake. After all, we all are humans, even if we live our lives in different ways.
To top it all off, I was able to stay in Bali while meeting and getting to know such an amazing group of people. We all came from diverse backgrounds, and we all were enlightened in some way or another. Like I first said, my trip in Bali was a great way for me to experience life. I will cherish it, appreciate it for the opportunity it was, and hope never to forget it.
As soon as I heard about this trip, I just knew I had to be a part of it. It seemed like such an amazing opportunity to learn under the guidance and “smiles” of Dr. Bic and be able to explore a beautiful island for 5 weeks. I remember feeling so welcomed by my classmates at our very first dinner together. By the end of the first week we were already referring to our group as the “Bali Fam”.
I loved that we lived in homestays. We were able to build a relationship with the family who lived there and it was always fun to practice the language with them. I enjoyed sitting on our porch every morning before class to have breakfast with the rest of the Manuaba Inn family and our golden retriever Andrew.
Every day brought a new adventure as our itinerary was full of cultural activities and trips to must-see sites. Some of these included legong dancing, meeting a prince, and visiting iconic temples and palaces. One of my most favorite moments was when we visited Udayana University to spend the day with students who study public health. Another unique part of this experience was coordinating with NGOs and helping serve the local Balinese community. I had the pleasure of working with an elderly home and planning an activity day as a well as a medical and art donation drive with my group.
My trip to Bali taught me that happiness is found in appreciating the things I have now. It was an honor to travel with so many individuals who were passionate about promoting health and serving the community.
I am glad to call these people my friends and I will always treasure the memories had with my Bali family.
First time flying, no problem. First time setting foot in another country, also, no problem. First time living a completely different culture every day for the next five weeks? At first, I thought this would be a problem. How would I have known if I was mentally ready for this adventure of a lifetime? I wasn’t, but that is what made the trip much more worthwhile than any other summer day. I learned a whole new culture through hearing stories from the locals, eating food I have never tasted before (like Luwak Coffee, a pricey and unique drink) , setting foot on one of the cleanest beaches I have laid eyes on, wearing a sarong, visiting temples, experiencing first hand alternative medicine, and making some awesome friends. At first I would say living a completely different culture for the first time is a problem, but now, no problem.
Summer 2014 marked our inaugural journey to Bali, Indonesia. These student ambassadors went above and beyond their means, rising substantial funding for the local NGOs they worked with while in Bali.