“I am very grateful for my experiences as a Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) student. The International Studies major interested me because it allowed me to take a wide range of courses and translate the knowledge I gained in class to the real world through studying abroad.

I have always been interested in public health, so I took many of the global health offerings. My fondest memory was taking the Concepts in Global Health section of International Studies 301 because I got to research a public health issue and develop my own intervention. This was a pivotal moment in my education because it taught me that humans are not always predictable. Therefore, a program that makes perfect sense on paper doesn’t guarantee that it will work in practice. This pushed me to be more open-minded when it comes to public health programming and to not be defeated by failures.

During my study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain, I interned with a hospital that involved helping international visitors navigate Spain’s healthcare system. During this time, I worked with people from all over the world so it was interesting to learn about the different perspectives that people have on health and medical systems.

The PICS major has greatly influenced my future plans. With every global health sub-plan course that I took, I became more fascinated with the public health field. As a result, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in public health after graduation while working for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Kelsie Johnston

BA International Studies (Global Health and Environment); BA Spanish; minor, Science, Technology and Society ‘20

Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI

Future plans: “I will be working as a Consumer Safety Officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory is taking International Studies 301 on Concepts in Global Health and creating my own public health intervention.”