Maya Patel

Maya Patel, a public health major, studied abroad on the Department of Sociology Genocide and its Aftermath in Rwanda program in summer 2022.

“This summer, I spent three weeks in Rwanda through the Genocide and its Aftermath in Rwanda program managed by the Department of Sociology. We studied the civil war that left Rwanda in shambles back in 1994. As many as one million people were killed in a short period of a couple months as a result of primarily animosity between the two major ethnic groups, the Hutus and the Tutsis. Admirable efforts have been made by the government to rebuild and transform the nation, but it is still a work in progress today. The primary objective of the study abroad experience was to learn about the origins of genocide globally, what specifically occurred in Rwanda, the aftermath and legal response.”

“Through dynamic academic instruction and unique cultural immersion, I gained a unique perspective about genocide and how atrocities such as this occur. I am extremely grateful for this program because I believe that it gave students, like myself, an opportunity to learn about a monumental historic event that cannot and should not be ignored. I have a passion for global equity and initiatives taken to improve the wellbeing of individuals around the world. Therefore, listening to and observing first-hand accounts of the civil war in Rwanda significantly expanded my world perspective.”

“By leaning into the Rwandan culture and way of life, I believe that I have learned how to be more empathetic and respectful to individuals of diverse backgrounds. I have taken away knowledge that has not only enriched my Ohio State undergraduate experience, but that will also support my future aspirations. Upon graduation, I plan to attend medical school to become an oncologist and work with cancer patients and survivors. I will utilize the experience and knowledge that I have obtained from my time in Rwanda to effectively treat diverse populations in my future healthcare career.”