Wayne Med-Direct student's passion to learn Arabic language and culture takes him to Lebanon

     

   1  Christofer Smith

     Public Health (Honors), Arabic (minor), 2020

     Wayne Med-Direct 2016 cohort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little bit of your background.

I was raised in Detroit, MI and I attended Renaissance High school.

How did you become interested in learning Arabic?

Before college I had friends from Bangladesh and I wanted to learn Bangla to communicate with them. So I took Arabic my first semester believing Bangla and Arabic to be the same, after the first few classes I realized the languages were not the same. But, by this time I had Arabic friends in my Wayne Med-Direct cohort and around campus so I decided I would continue learning Arabic. So far I have taken three semesters of Arabic at Wayne State and enjoyed every class.

Tell us more about your study abroad experience in the Lebanese American Univeristy-SINARC program this summer.

After my third semester of Arabic at Wayne State I applied to study Arabic in Lebanon. I was hoping that living in Lebanon would help me learn the Arabic dialect and understand more about the Arabic culture. I actually got back a few weeks ago and the trip was everything I was looking for and more. I know at least twice as much Arabic as before and I now have an appreciation for Lebanese culture. The trip also opened my eyes to other cultures and I hope to have the opportunity to travel again.

How did you become passionate about science and medicine?

In high school I always performed well in my science classes, but my passion for medicine came from my mentorship in Pathways to Excellence. My mentor showed me the opportunities available in medicine and how being a physician will allow me to pursue my interest in health disparities, so I chose to study medicine.

How has the Wayne Med-Direct program supported your aspirations in becoming a physician who serve underserved communities?

There are few programs that immerse pre-med students into such a diverse environment as Detroit. There’s a plethora of opportunities for research into health disparities available in Detroit, and Med-Direct has connected me with those opportunities. The opportunity to work with underserved communities is an exciting way to put my public health knowledge to use and aspires me more to serve those communities in the future as a physician. 

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