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Studying Abroad Feeds Future Doctor’s Goals

knio2Laila Knio ’17, a psychology major and French minor, spent her summer abroad gaining experience and perspective for her future career in medicine.  Knio started off her academic career as a student of textile engineering, but switched majors as she realized her goals were best suited to pursuing psychology with a pre-med track.

“I want to spend my time as an undergraduate learning the most that I can about people, about our complexities and our minds in relation to our behavior, to hopefully become the best doctor that I can be,” said Knio.

Knio utilized the skills and knowledge acquired from her two areas of study and put them into action overseas.  From Lebanon to Paris, she embraced the cultural dynamics and struggles of the different countries she visited.

In Lebanon, her birthplace, she filmed a documentary that highlights “extraordinary people who have helped others despite religious or ethnic differences” amidst the civil war currently overrunning the country. Knio devoted half her time to interviewing individuals who were on the ground during the war and the other half with various people whose actions merit equal recognition in her film. Among others, she spoke with a Muslim Sheikh whose family provided flour to a blockaded Christian town, an individual who founded a nonprofit ambulance service, and a rescue diver who is, to date, the sole Arab to receive the Albert Pierce Medal of Heroism.

Knio plans to reach out to NC State’s Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies to seek collaboration and potential screening opportunities for the project. Knio also has ambitions to expand the documentary into a multinational series, with compelling stories from individuals in Brazil and India.

In addition to her time in Lebanon last summer, she participated in a study abroad program based in Lille, France. Wasting no time during her trip, Knio explored France’s major attractions before visiting Brussels, Ypres, and Bruges in Belgium, as well as Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

As her academic interests suggest, Knio is committed to global concerns and is intent on developing a  well-rounded global perspective.  Her increasing fluency in French is motivated, in part, by her interest in working some day as a physician in a Francophone country.

This post was adapted from Lauren Vanderveen’s article published by the Park Scholarships Program.

Access the full article here