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Intern Spotlight: Meet Julia Heller!

Hi! My name is Julia and I am a senior here at Pitt. I originally hail from Northern New Jersey and am studying Natural Sciences with a Spanish minor and am pursuing the pre-Physician Assistant track. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Lima, Peru in the summer of 2017 and intern in Santiago, Chile in the summer of 2018. While attending the local medical school, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, I had the opportunity to take two classes: Spanish Medical Terminology and Community Medicine. When I wasn’t attending classes or studying, I was volunteering in a nearby clinic in Caja de Agua, where I shadowed several medical professionals, oversaw patient care and medical records, created and presented public health presentations at the local elementary school, and learned about the Peruvian healthcare system hands on.

This past summer, I interned at La Casa Esperanza, an NGO that serves young women in La Pintana, a southern suburb of Santiago. La Casa Esperanza is a residence that provides resources and educational opportunities to young women to break the cycle of poverty and exclusion. While interning there, I researched the Chilean public healthcare system, created presentations, and developed workshops regarding sex education, HIV/AIDS prevention, nutrition, and the importance of vaccines. When I wasn’t working at La Casa Esperanza, you could find me exploring the neighborhoods of Santiago, eating delicious local foods, or traveling throughout Chile. I am extremely grateful that both of my experiences abroad allowed me to experience different cultures, enhance my Spanish, and create an international network.

I am now interning at Pitt Study Abroad where I am a peer advisor and help students plan their potential study abroad experiences! I am constantly talking about my time abroad and would love to give you any insight, tips, and tricks for applying and overall living abroad. For my independent internship project, I am creating a single platform of collected programs, financial opportunities, and resources for students who are studying an array of pre-health professional majors and who are interested in studying abroad. I hope to see all of you at the office to show you all the incredible study abroad opportunities we have to offer!