My International Practicum Experience - Week 1
June 6, 2019 | 3:00 PM
Colton Pettyjohn '19, Social Work Major
Where do I even begin to start? After a long journey and a few setbacks, I have finally arrived back in India. My home away from home.
These first two and a half weeks have been so exciting and full of learning opportunities. When I arrived in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India in May, it took me three days to acclimate to India's time and weather. Ahmedabad is ten and a half hours ahead of Illinois, and the weather here is very dry and extremely hot with temperatures reaching up to 113 degrees. My host site for this summer is the O.M. Center, which is the same place the other students and I stayed when we came to India this past January. It was great to see all of the familiar faces and reconnect with friends.
As for my internship, it has been a wild ride! I’ve been able to take the public bus to and from my practicum at the Blind People’s Association (I’ve only gotten on the wrong bus twice), and I’ve been learning so much. Even though this is just the beginning of my practicum experience, I’ve already been trained on data entry, I’ve helped with the creation of a module to teach students with cortical visual impairments, I’ve found resources about the workings of the ear and hearing loss, and I’ve visited rural villages to administer anti-psychotic injections as well as a residential school for those with intellectual impairments. I’ve also been able to use some of my free time to volunteer at the Community Care Center, a local non-governmental (or non-profit) organization, with various jobs, as well.
I’m so happy to be back in India for the summer and I’m extremely excited to see where this journey takes me!