The Cross Continental Experience Blog by Jonelle Boafo, C-C MPH Student
It has been quite a year. We started off in Washington, D.C. last summer, hopeful and excited for what a year getting our master's degrees held in store for us. We continued the program in Buenos Aires, where we began our thesis and got into the bulk of our classes, all while managing living in a Spanish speaking country, for some of us for the first time, but still traveling South America and creating new memories. We then spent the last semester of the program in the beautiful city of Madrid. In the short time we were there, students really took advantage of our location and traveled. We never would have imagined that there would be a fourth location for this program: our homes. But here we are ending the semester in our beds, our kitchens, our desks, and on the comfy couches in our homes.
Little did we know that amongst developing new relationships, connections with professors, and discovering new public health interests, a lot of this would be mixed with hardships and challenges. Whether it was acclimating to a new environment while juggling difficult classes, feeling homesick, feeling ostracized in a new country, or being severely impacted by a pandemic no one anticipated. We didn’t plan to finish off this intensive year in our homes through remote learning. We made plans to travel more, spend more time with each other, have friends and family visit, struggle through finals together, and celebrate our accomplishments. It sometimes feels like all this was taken away from us, and though some things were, that doesn’t take away from the huge accomplishment we’re about to make. In the midst of a global pandemic we persevered through and completed a master's thesis, completed several projects, attended remote learning, some of us at 6am due to time differences, and managed to stay connected. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.
The connections we’ve made along the way are ones never to be forgotten. We literally traveled the world together and created unforgettable memories. It didn’t end the way we anticipated, but we have still completed a very intensive, accelerated Masters of Public Health program within a year, and we deserve to be celebrated!
As we venture into the next stage of our lives, I know I will be carrying all the amazing memories I made with friends in the cohort, and I’m sure the others will as well. We’ve created new connections in different parts of the world. This experience was one unlike any other. I’m holding hope that the threat of COVID-19 will continue to decrease more and more as the weeks pass, and as soon as it's safe, we will be able to celebrate our amazing achievements. Congratulations to us, we will soon be the newest Cross-Continental MPH Graduates of NYU’s School of Global Public Health!