Students Speak: On Having Surgery in the U.S.

HealthInsurance2In a follow-up to her post last week on student health insurance, Student Union writer Jeonghyun Kim interviews one of her classmates on how she dealt with an injury during her time studying in the U.S.

When international students are sick in the U.S., they have to struggle with not only illness, but living in an unfamiliar environment without family.

Mengzi Wang, a Georgetown University student, recently had surgery to reconstruct her kneecap in the U.S. She said that as an international student, it was hard to be sick without the support and assistance of family.

“The most terrible thing was fighting with the fear,” said Wang. “It was my first surgery and no family was around me. I couldn’t imagine how much the surgery makes me hurt.”

Mengzi’s fear also caused exhaustion, which made it harder for her to recover from her injury after surgery.

“I can just bend my leg 90 degree now and it is very painful,” said Wang. “I have a lot of troubles when I commute to school.”

But fortunately, Wang has friends in the United States who helped her after the surgery: her classmate from high school came to Washington to take care of her for first couple days after surgery, and her roommate helps by picking up food for her at the grocery store.

“It was inconvenient to do some things by myself, but friends helped me and I am fine now,” said Wang.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.

Jeonghyun Kim