Nicole Berry at Machu Picchu, Peru.
Nicole Berry connects language, travel, and nutrition in her study abroad program Nutrition and Natural Medicine in Peru. As an ACHS student who lives in Spain for most of the year, Nicole says that online school fits well into her life. “It’s very supportive of my lifestyle, which is traveling a lot and running a company. I can study when I have time at my own pace and don’t need to be in a physical location,” she says.
Nicole is currently halfway through her Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition at ACHS and is also the founder of Linguistic Horizons, a company that offers international internships, language immersion, and study abroad programs. In her nutrition-related program that takes place in Peru, students can learn about holistic nutrition and alternative medicine through workshops, cooking classes, hikes, and more.
Becoming interested in holistic health
“I didn’t really get interested in holistic health until I was older and started to learn more and also have firsthand experience with what I would say is an imperfect medical system,” Nicole says. She always knew that she wanted to travel and study abroad, but it wasn’t until she saw the food at the hospital while visiting her sick father that she became more interested in nutrition. Nicole was in Peru and had been learning about Maca and other superfoods when her father was first diagnosed with bladder cancer.
When she came to see him in the hospital he was being given a diet soda or crystal light with every meal because he had diabetes and couldn’t have regular soda. He was also eating burgers and spaghetti, and Nicole thought that as a cancer patient he should be given something healthier. “I was seeing the food that was being served in the hospital and I was appalled,” she says.
She had brought some unprocessed stevia plant (from which stevia sweetener originates) with her from Peru and wanted to give some to her father in the hospital to use as a natural sweetener. Before doing so, she spoke to his dietician and was surprised to hear that she had never heard of stevia. “I was speechless,” Nicole says.
Sharing wellness information to help others
Nicole says that education is missing in the areas of health, critical thinking, and language learning and that’s part of why people in America are leading unhealthy lifestyles. She created a Well-Being Facebook group unrelated to her business where she freely shares knowledge about health and nutrition for anyone who may need or want it.
Experience with ACHS
Nicole says that in her program at ACHS, she appreciates that students are given both holistic health textbooks and mainstream health textbooks as part of their reading for class. She says “It’s nice to have a program that teaches both sides. We have the regular Pathophysiology textbook and then there’s the more holistic textbook alongside. I appreciate that. We get to read what nurses and doctors probably read in their schools, and then we get to read what is not in most other programs.”
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