Kate Malkusak (majoring in International Studies: Global Health, Spanish, & Arabic at the University of Iowa with an expected graduation date of May 2023) presented about her recent Rotex Study Abroad experience in Santiago, Chile. Kate had been a Rotary Exchange high school student in 2018-2019 in Spain, attended RYLA,  and is involved in Roteract. Her experience in Chile enabled her to improve her Spanish as her host family did not speak English, she was able to observe the voting process, met other students at the University she attended, took day trip to museums, participated in cooking and other classes, and attended cultural events. Academically, Kate participated in a "Health Program, 2 Spanish classes, Health Studies Seminar, 60 hours of clinical observations over the semester...[and a] Native Culture Class," learning more about indigenous cultures. Kate had the opportunity to learn more Spanish medical terminology and visited hospitals in Santiago. As part of her experience, she learned more about public and private health care in Chile and their differences. Kate personal travels included to San Pedro de Atacama, La Serena, Valparaiso, a cultural celebration Pelluhue, and  celebrating her own birthday by hiking in Patagonia. Kate benefitted by being able to make medical observations, using and improving her language skills, expanding her worldview on health care, and improving her cultural competence. Kate's goal is to work for a nonprofit in global health. She appreciated the financial aid from Rotary, which made her semester experience in Chile possible, gave credit to Rotary Youth Exchange for the experience, and thanked Rotary and those present. Kate has a blog where Rotarians and other can learn about her experience at https://katherine-malkusak.wixsite.com/kate-s-semester-abro
Marge Winkler asked Kate when and how were you first inspired--Kate replied that at RYLA, she learned from her counselor, Megan, about her experience as a Rotary Youth Exchange member and inspired, Kate then transferred to City High and graduated early in order to be an exchange student. In response to another question about her observations about health care in Chile, Kate replied that she observed different levels of health care and doctor availability, was able to converse with a doctor and other professionals and observed a surgery. In response to a question from Phil Peterson, Kate said that public universal health care was paid for by taxes and private care was paid for by individuals. Covid was prominent initially and then a mask mandate went away in October. Kate's program was through IES. In response to other questions, Kate said she had wanted to learn a character language and started Arabic in Spain because there is a lot of Arabic influence in the southern half of Spain. Kate wants to work in international health care at a not for profit (e.g., Gates Foundation) and eventually travel and implement a health program. When Jenny Seyler asked "what was the hardest thing and most growth," Kate said that about half way through the semester, she felt that her Spanish was not improving as much and as quickly as she had hoped and that she has learned she cannot compare herself to others and further said that at the end, "my Spanish has improved beyond measure."
Iowa City AM Rotary President Jenny Seylar opened the meeting at 7:05 a.m. A sheet to sign up to wrap packages (fundraiser) on Christmas Eve was distributed. The attending members congratulated Ann Romanowski on the Tate High School Food Pantry's fundraiser at Wildwood Salon, which raised $4,000! Elections are next week. The meeting adjourned at 8:00 a.m.