Ready for Summer! (Almost)

Hi Everyone!

My name is Doreen Chang, and I am going to be a junior in the College studying Biology and Economics. I just returned from a short vacation with my best friend in Puerto Rico. After some trips to the police station to help with someone’s stolen bag, forty mosquito bites because bug spray is bad for the bio bay, and some wonderful memories from Puerto Rico, I’m really excited to start my summer in India! Fingers crossed that my visa complications work out!

I was born in China and moved to the US when I was three. My mom likes to tell me that my Chinese was better when I was three than it is now, which I ardently deny, and also that my brother’s Chinese is better than mine, which I also deny. I’ve lived thirty minutes outside of Philly, in a suburb called Radnor, since I was eight. When first looking at colleges, I decided I wanted to be as far away as possible, but I ultimately chose Penn, and I am so glad I did. I absolutely love it, and moving out is much simpler when I don’t have to pack up my entire room and worry about storage over the summer.

I’m going to be working with Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai this summer and I’m really eager to see the organization at work firsthand. I am also looking forward to doing something more tangible and meaningful than homework and exams after all the stress of the past semester. I hope to go to med school, and I think medicine should really follow Dr. V’s doctrine of compassionate care for each patient. The efficiency and success with which Aravind operates to eradicate needless blindness for all, even doing complex eye surgeries for free, amazes me. I learned a lot about the American Health Care System in class, and somehow Aravind seems to overcome many problems with equality and efficiency that we see here in the US, a seemingly impossible task with India’s incredible volume and the disparity of wealth. I am incredibly grateful to be able to work with such an amazing organization, to learn from them, and to make whatever contribution I can.

My tenth grade Global Issues teacher named India as one of his favorite places to ever travel to, and he’s seen most of the world twice over, so I’m ecstatic I will be able to experience Indian culture personally after all the stories he told us in class. I’m also really excited for the food! I had a lot of authentic Puerto Rican food last week (A LOT of plantains), and I can’t wait to try truly authentic Indian food beyond the chicken tikka masala I always order. Sam and Christina made me really excited for these dosa burgers in Madurai!

With that, I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day and showered their moms with lots of love! (This picture is the reason I’m the favorite child.)

Mother's Day Picture

All the best,


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About Doreen Chang

Class of 2015, double majoring in Economics and Biology. Intern at Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, Tamil Nadu in summer 2013. Currently a research assistant at the Center for Autism Research.