Map credit: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage
Source: Purdue SLHA Newsletter, Volume 13
Zambia is a big country with only one audiologist. Purdue Alum Alfred Mwamba went back to his homeland to practice audiology, and this May, Professors Lata Krishnan and Jennifer Simpson took our first class of 12 students to Zambia. The Zambia experience was the most exciting time of their lives during the inaugural SLHS Study Abroad program called simply “SLHS in Zambia”! After more than 18 months of planning and preparation including an exploratory trip to Zambia in June 2012, Clinical Professors Krishnan and Simpson provided classes and hands-on labs at Purdue to orient and prepare students for the clinical activities planned. Finally, the group which included 8 undergraduate students and 4 graduate students departed the USA on May 17, 2013.
While in Zambia, the team worked with multiple community partner organizations including Beit Cure Hospital, Special Hope Network, a non-profit organization that provides much-needed therapy services to children with intellectual disabilities, and Cheshire Homes, a non-profit organization that provides therapy and educational services to children with physical disabilities. Undergraduate students who have never participated in clinical activities had the opportunity to provide hearing screenings and to assess hearing of children. Graduate students appreciated their opportunity to see a large number of children (~450) with a variety of ear disorders in a short duration of time and also enjoyed mentoring the undergraduate students. All students also had a great time meeting the group of students in Special Education from the University of Zambia and sharing a wonderful cultural exchange. Of course, all this service learning was interspersed with relaxing activities such as the weekend trip to see the mighty Victoria Falls and enjoy a safari as well as shorter half day trips to nearby parks.
Overall, all 12 students said they learned more than they ever expected or imagined in the two weeks that we were in Zambia. For more information read our blog at http://slhsinzambia.wordpress.com/ which includes details of our daily activities and for updates like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/PurdueUniversitySlhsStudyAbroad