Little did I know how much this experience would change me forever, and it has opened my eyes and mind in ways I never could have imagined and has left an impression on me that challenges me to be a better person every day. I was able to find a deep connection to the homeland of my ancestors, as well as the new relationships I developed while in Italy. There was never a moment where I felt like I was studying or in class, instead I felt like I was part of the human experience, learning from each moment.
Rome – American University of Rome (CSI), Summer 2014
I enrolled for a winter intersession Global Justice course as part of Lehman College’s International Exchanges and Study Abroad program in Santiago, Chile called Human Rights and Transitional Justice that aligned with my curriculum. This was my second time traveling abroad as I took a Global Civics course at Bronx Community College where I travelled to the Salzburg Global Seminar in 2013. This year I went to Chile and studied at Bolivarian University. Our group met with Mapuche inhabitants as part of our anthropological research outside the capital city in Temuco. There, we learned how much of the indigenous people in Chile share a cosmovisión – or worldview – that orients them toward ritualized use of ancestral land. The Mapuche are committed to land recovery fundamentally aimed at restricting environmental abuse and achieving justice in relation to cultural use of traditional lands. Visiting both Austria as a participant in Schloss Leopoldskron’s International Study Program and my educational opportunity in Chile have, together, brought forth my most edifying life experiences to date.
Where will you be next winter inter-session? This program is open to students throughout CUNY!
My favorite project during my study abroad in Costa Rica was a mural project I headed at Escuela República de Argentina, a public school in a neighborhood near central San Jose. I designed the mural specifically to allow space for the children there to contribute, incorporating simple shapes of animals based on pre-Colombian gold artifacts I studied at an underground museum in San Jose. With the help of a team of my classmates, people from my program, and kids at the school, this project was one of my most fulfilling moments as an artist, as a student, and in general as a human being. I am endlessly grateful for the space for growth my study abroad experience empowered me to have.
Development Studies in Latin America (Hunter), Spring Semester 2015
I have never felt so at home in a foreign country as I felt in India. Such a beautiful place filled with welcoming people, deep red skies, and an amazing sense of spirituality. This program not only made my dreams come true, it also [gave direction to] my four years of college. Thanks to this program, I’ve decided to combine my passions and continue onto a masters in dance movement therapy…. Follow your dreams, live and learn, and exposure yourself to the unknown. You just might find yourself a new home or re-spark a pushed-aside passion.
Performing Arts of India (Hunter), Winter Inter-Session 2014-15
Studying abroad has honestly been one of the best experiences I’ve had while pursing my undergraduate degree. The unconditional support and love I received…while applying, in Ghana, and when I came back to the States was enormous. This experience has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams and I now have a better understanding that whatever I want, I can have and [now I’m motivated to continue helping] other communities, especially underserved communities. This experience will always remain with me and will continue to motivate me in all aspects of my life. The people I met and studied abroad with, immersing myself into the culture, helping the community, AND playing the drums in Ghana was amazing. This experience couldn’t have been any better!!
International Service-Learning in Ghana (CCNY), Summer 2014
Learning about the Caribbean through a firsthand experience opened my eyes to the many global factors affecting us in the United States and abroad. Every day was a new adventure and even during the toughest days, when we were digging for soil samples and traveling in remote areas until we were all covered in dirt from the unpaved roads, we were always having fun while learning. Studying abroad solidified my interest in continuing to study cultures, youth and history of the Caribbean and Latin America.
Antigua & Barbuda: Heritage, Food, Sustainability, and Global Climate Change Field School (Brooklyn), Summer 2014
I never dreamed I would have had the opportunity to study primates in Africa. We were lectured by world-renowned researchers, met with government officials to learn about the conservation challenges they face, and toured local villages with Ugandan [researchers]. It was an educational and spiritual journey that will shape me for the rest of my life…and I would do it a thousand times over.
Uganda – African Primates: Diversity, Ecology and Conservation (Hunter, Winter 2014-15)
This, so far, has undoubtedly been the best experience of my life… I never want to come home!
Studying abroad has helped me define my academic and professional path through extensive and integrative field experience. Being able to learn from many professors and peers from throughout the U.S. and abroad, I gained insights into various research methods, cultural concerns and what it means to be a global citizen. Not only did I get the chance to travel for the sake of experience but also realize my goals for the rest of my undergraduate career and prepare me for my future studies. I gained confidence in my independent work as well as working extensively in close quarters.
Having explored the interface of ecology and conservation science and how science informs collaboration locally, I looked to expand my knowledge of cultures and interaction abroad. My fieldwork experiences were with a conservation biology nonprofit in Honduras performing biodiversity studies in the jungle and ocean, two archaeology excavations in Barbuda and Iceland, a semester exploring the Brazilian Amazon, and a semester studying human evolution in Kenya. Archaeological excavation, surveying, and diving highlighted historical land use and cultural conceptions of resource management. These experiences were also formative in how to build a relationship with the community and encourage cultural exchange. (Read more here).