Sarah Bugg ’14 spends CentreTerm at women’s clinic in Bolivia

Posted by Centre News in CentreTerm, Internships, News, Study Abroad 29 Jan 2014

Though Sarah Bugg ’14 came to Centre College convinced that studying abroad was not for her, she soon embraced travel opportunities with gusto. During CentreTerm, she traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia, to work at Centro de Salud España, a government-funded clinic that serves women and children of the area (pictured above).

“Cochabamba, Bolivia is my third trip abroad,” Bugg says, mentioning her previous trips to Mérida, Mexico, for a full semester, volunteering at a government hospital, and interning with a traveling eye clinic in southern Honduras last CentreTerm.

“I’ve found that the more I travel, the more I want to travel,” she says, “a sentiment I know is shared by many of my peers at Centre.”

As an English major with a Spanish minor and pre-med track, Bugg was unsure about being able to study abroad and graduate on time.

“With good advisors and luck, my courses worked out,” she explains. “I was accepted into medical school and free to go abroad this CentreTerm.”

Her trip this January has certainly been full of excitement; her morning commute was a daily adventure in and of itself.

“My trip to the clinic each morning consists of a 20-minute walk, a 45-minute bus ride and another 30-minute walk,” she says. “The map of the city I was given doesn’t even include the zone where the clinic is located.”

Bugg has especially enjoyed immersing herself in the medical world of Bolivia.

bugg_clinicinside“Most of our patients tote their babies on their backs, wrapped up in colorful blankets,” she notes. “Though the clinic is small, a line of patients forms each morning hours before the door opens. The doctors treat many cases of malnutrition and pregnancy complications. So far, I’ve assisted with everything from Chagas tests (an infectious disease endemic to Bolivia) to dog bites and rabies vaccines.”

Bugg’s varied and frequent trips abroad have not only led her to these uniquely memorable experiences but also shaped her future career path.

“The experiences with global health that I’ve had during my time at Centre have led me to apply for a global health master’s program in Barcelona next year,” she explains. “Though I’m excited to practice medicine, these experiences have opened my eyes to the lack of medical infrastructure in many communities. I’d like to have the tools to improve the health of entire communities like the one I’m in now.”

No matter what precise career the future holds for Bugg, she is and will remain thankful for the opportunities to study abroad that Centre has given her.

“I’m thankful for the not-so-subtle pressure to study abroad that I encountered at Centre,” she says. “It’s changed my career goals and allowed me to discover passions that otherwise would have remained dormant.”

Learn more about internships abroad.

By Mariel Smith

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