Kapila is a first-generation medical student in her family. She grew up in Ghana her whole life but is of Indian nationality. She got accepted to the Penn State-Jefferson medical program from high school and came to the US for college. She spent a gap-year working in a wet lab as a research technician on an OPT student visa, all while studying for the MCAT and moving to a new city after college. Due to COVID-19, her OPT and later, medical school, she hasn't gone home to see her parents in three years. In medical school she worked in a neuroscience wet lab, gave tours to aspiring students applying to the college of science at Penn State, and served as an orientation leader for incoming international students.
Talk to Kapila if you have questions about taking a gap year as an international student, building a support system a long way from home and general concerns about international students ‘making’ it to U.S medical schools!