Sofia Labrecque-Nieves

Class of 2021 - Public Policy & Global Health
Duke in Venice & SIT - Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy

I'm so lucky to have been in the Duke environment for the last few years, but I wanted my study away experience for the semester to be a totally new and challenging thing. I made a ton of friends from other schools in the U.S. and abroad.

Public health and international public health is my main interest, and Geneva, Switzerland is one of the hugest hubs in the world for public health.

I'm on full financial aid, and it was a really easy process both times [I studied abroad]. The financial aid officers are always so helpful in breaking down how your aid is going to work when you're abroad.

It was awesome to get to do an independent study in another country, and to take everything I'd learned at Duke and my US-centric education and then be challenged in a new country to apply those things and compare and contrast.

There was a lot of support. Professors and host families were absolutely incredible.


Isaiah Mason

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Study Away Impacts Career Trajectory

My travels have built my courage and inquisitiveness and made me a global thinker.

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Learning from the Boruca

"An experience that I will never forget was our three-day trip to an indigenous community called Boruca: a simple, yet beautiful place that is home to 2,000 people."

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Kyle on Duke in Geneva

"After studying business and globalization in Geneva and exploring Europe on program excursions, Kyle feels not only prepared for future coursework, but energized to learn more."

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Duke in Costa Rica

"The highlight of my experience in Costa Rica was the quality of the time I spent learning with my classmates and professor. Going on a study abroad in a small group really allows you to learn in depth and in unison."

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Jen on Duke in Geneva: Rigorous yet Rewarding

“Moving to Geneva for six weeks was certainly outside of my comfort zone. I went into the program without knowing anyone else who was doing it. As a result, the Duke in Geneva program helped me become more independent and self-confident."

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Study Away Programs Bridge Global Health Co-Majors

Global health students credit study away for bringing their co-majors together in interesting ways.

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Duke in Costa Rica: Linguistics Leads to Global Health

By Cassia Caruth

A linguistics major with a Spanish minor, Cassia Caruth '20 found parallels with her country, Trinidad and Tobago, and discovered new interests in the global health field while studying abroad on the Duke in Costa Rica summer program.

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From day-tripper to local: Spending a summer in Venice

During her sophomore fall at Duke, Sujal Manohar took a Venetian Renaissance art history class to satisfy a requirement for the Visual Arts major. She said the class was fascinating and it inspired her to apply for the Duke in Venice summer program so she could experience the culture and art scene firsthand.

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Frances in Venice: Seeing Food Politics through an Italian Eye

“Studying more of the humanities and stepping away from my usual psychology coursework for a semester really helped me refocus what I'm interested in. I loved the classes on public policy, theater and philosophy that I took in Venice..."

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Rounding Out The Econ Degree

By Anna Kropf

Before I began my Italian studies at Duke, I might have (admittedly) been on the side of the liberal arts education debate that was confused why so many general education requirements were necessary for graduation. If I knew what I wanted to do, why would I need to take so many classes in other disciplines? But Duke in Bologna pushed me into the realm of “hopeless romantic” for the liberal arts education.

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Mistakes Welcome: Let Go, Learn More

By Lucy St. Charles

Before going to Costa Rica, I was a perfectionist. I never wanted to make a single mistake while I spoke. During the program, it didn’t feel like I was making much progress. For weeks, I’d stumble over what I was trying to say. I didn’t notice a change until my last night...the fear that had been constantly holding me back from making mistakes was gone.

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Amazing Connections and Friendships in Just One Month

By Carter Lovvorn

The great thing about this program is that you get a full overview of the way the public health system works in a different country. You don’t have to be super into global health—there is a breadth of study and opportunity on the program. And you will still have plenty of time for activities with your host family and to explore Costa Rica!

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Livin' La Pura Vida

By Harry Liu

The Pura Vida lifestyle is best summed up as the combination of the many daily experiences that Tico has. The experiences I’ve had taught me that in order to fully immerse yourself in and understand a culture, you have to keep an open mind, be flexible, and completely embrace it. In other words, you have to challenge yourself to try new things.

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A Typical Day Attending the Oldest University in Europe

By Sarah Perrin

Our classes were held in an architecturally and historically rich building that was once part of a monastery, then a penitentiary, until it was finally adopted into the fold of the oldest university in Europe, the University of Bologna.

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