Isabella Bungo


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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
Home Institution: 
Thiel College
Heinz Programming Area: 
Study Abroad Country: 
International Experience

As a Vira I Heinz recipient, Isabella spent a month studying in Berlin, Germany. She studied at Humboldt University where major figures like Karl Marx attended college. While in Germany Isabella took a class about Nazi Germany and a class about Jewish Narratives. During her stay in Berlin her studies focused on the historical time periods of World War 1 as well as 1961-1989. Isabella was able to visit many historical sites during her stay. She was able to visit Sachsenhausen concentration camp as well as the German Holocaust Museum and the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe. During her stay, she met many people from all over the world though both her classes and just traveling around Berlin.  While traveling Isabella was able to focus not only on history but also education which is her other major.  Isabella studied the German educational system by reading, as well as interviewing many students, teachers, and parents about the system.  Isabella's studies did not stop there, she was able to travel to other countries which were related to her specific periods of study.  Isabella got to experience the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. She also got to see the Jewish Museum in Poland as well as the resistance museum and pieces of the wall of the Ghetto of Warsaw.  Isabella, though immersion, was able to learn about and experience German culture and the German language.  

Community Engagement Experience

Our CEE was a casual opportunity for students to become further educated about culture, specifically our three respective countries Germany, Costa Rica, and South Korea. We had a crowd at the beginning of our CEE, so we stood in front of the crowd to discuss our study abroad programs and talk a little about culture in our respective countries. We then stood by our tables and allowed the students and community members to walk around to our tables and ask us more specific questions.  Each one of us decorated our tables with items from our travels. I tried to use props that would spark conversation about culture, such as German comic books. I used these items to spark the interest of those walking past and to show them that German youth culture and even young adult culture is not much different from ours here in the United States. Our CEE was formatted so that we could each talk about specific areas of youth culture. Mine focused on education. When I discussed education, the conversation sparked from there, and then we were able to discuss other cultural aspects. For our CEE, we decided to let students come and go as they pleased because at Thiel, that is something that goes over well with students. We had a decent amount of students come in and out, and we had great conversations about youth culture and how to help foster different cultures on our own campus. This type of CEE was great for our campus because students wanted to talk and ask questions one on one with either Kristyn, Crystal, or I. This made for a comfortable setting where students were offered samples of food to get them talking about food, which is very important in most cultures.  All in all, our CEE was a successful way to act locally and think globally and share that idea with our campus community.  

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