Half a world away

Hello! My name is Thomas Uhler, and I decided that moving 500 miles away for my first year of college wasn’t adventurous enough, so I’m going to India for the summer.

I’m a rising sophomore (Class of 2019) in the Life Sciences and Management program, studying biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of Arts & Sciences and studying business in Wharton with a concentration in healthcare management. I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan but I haven’t felt a sliver of regret about coming to Philadelphia. I’m looking forward to my next three years at Penn, but at the moment I’m fixated on my coming summer in India.

When I first heard of it, the Aravind internship seemed to be the perfect fit for my interests. The hands on analytical role of the internship aligns with my research interest from studying science, while Aravind’s proven organization provides a great example for how healthcare can be provided on the business side. At the same time, my interest in medicine, developed by joining Penn’s EMT service and volunteering at the Presbyterian Hospital, is further motivated by the hospital environment

at Aravind. Although I hope that I can contribute to Aravind with my ideas, I have a feeling that I’ll be learning much more from Aravind than I could return.

Work aside, the culture shock from Madurai is something that I’m looking forward to. I know that pictures from Google Images fail to capture the essential details that make a place unique. A vapor cloak from humidity, the intimidating presence of a towering temple, the glow of the moon cast across a forest, a sigh of relief as clouds drain. I hope to be taken by surprise by the beauty of India but also to ease into a state of comfort where I can appreciate the country the way that its residents do. Throughout the summer, I’ll be keeping a journal; using it as a way to both meditate on my thoughts and reflect on experiences in contrast to earlier days.

Well, adventure awaits. When I write again, my perspective on India will most likely be turned upside down. Until next time!

One thought on “Half a world away

  1. Sounds exciting! The Penn Club of Mumbai will be happy to meet you if you are stopping by in mumbai :₹

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About uhlerthomas

Class of 2019, pursuing one degree in biology and another in business with a concentration in healthcare management. Intern at Aravind Eye Care Systems in Madurai for the summer of 2016.