Humans of UCSF: Magical Internship

Sunday, October 1, 2017

“This past summer, my classmate, Tammy McCall, and I had the exciting opportunity to complete our health policy internship in Norway from June through August.

We worked with academic researchers at the Center for Care Research at Western Norway in Bergen. It’s the second largest city in the country that sits on the west coast surrounded by seven majestic mountains, and serves as a major hub for trips to the legendary fjords.

It was nearly impossible to not be distracted everyday in the office by the beauty of the city, which was once home to the Hanseatic League, a powerful German maritime trading confederation. It gave birth to a thriving wharf, Bryggen, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition to performing literary research on nursing homes and home care, visiting various healthcare sites, and meeting with political scientists in the city and at the Ministry of Health in the capital, Oslo, Tammy and I would take the chance to escape to nature on our off-time. We took a five-hour boat down to Stavanger to hike the famous Pulpit Rock jutting out nearly 2000 feet above the Lysefjord and drank water straight from a waterfall.

We sat on a UNESCO Fjord Bus and the famous Flam Railway with our eyes in wonder and jaws dropping to the sight of miles of melting glaciers, grand waterfalls, and idyllic farmland. And, of course, we enjoyed the food out there, savoring every creamy fish soup there was (or mostly I did).

Although we came away from this internship with a refreshing outlook on the Scandinavian country's universal healthcare and social welfare benefits, it is safe to say that we will always remember Norway for its grandeur and fairytale hiking scenery."

Alina Wong

UCSF School of Nursing, second year Health Policy Master’s Program