Madison Bredice

Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
Home Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg
Heinz Programming Area: 
Arts & Culture
Study Abroad Country: 
International Experience

As a recipient of the Vira Heinz for Women in Global Leadership, Madison studied abroad in Havana, Cuba for six weeks. In Cuba, Madison took three courses that focused on her Spanish by learning colloquial Cuban terms, as well as Cuban culture and Cuban cinema. Madison's interest and focus during this international experience was to learn and dive herself into the Cuban culture while improving her Spanish to better communicate with the Cuban people. Madison studied the development of Spanish and how the colloquial terms she learned came about, as well as learning about the history of Cuba since colonization and how that still affects Cuban society today. During her time in Cuba, she visited many monuments during three class excursions, furthering her knowledge about the city of Havana and Cuba as a whole. She also traveled to the provinces of Matanzas, Trinidad and Cien Fuegos, Cuba where she learned about slavery in Cuba during the sugar cane era as well as different religions in Cuba from African origins. Madison was also able to talk to Cubans about their government and politics, their view on the United States as well as their views on free education and healthcare during in class interviews with Cubans on the street. She spoke with Cubans daily to learn more about Cuba than what was taught in class, and to gain a different perspective. By doing this she also learned more Spanish terms than taught in class. One day she hopes to return to Cuba to help people who want to immigrate to the United States as well as help out others get out of poverty within Cuba. From taking her three courses, going out on excursions and talking with Cubans every chance she got, Madison gained a greater understanding of the Cuban way of life, improved her language skills and built long lasting relationships with people there that she soon hopes she can help. 

Community Engagement Experience

The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg Presents: America, America, What Do We See? Perceptions and Prejudices: Here and Abroad #SeeWhatWeSee. In this event, our cohort talked about what we see as United States citizens as we traveled abroad to the countries of Denmark, Thailand, Peru and Cuba. We discussed the perceptions and prejudices we had of our host countries before leaving the United States and how going to these countries opened up our global perspectives of other cultures. We examined how the entertainment industry, social media, the education system and the news all influence and shape how we think of other countries and cultures and what they think of us. Finally, we brought it back to our campus community and analyzed the prejudices and biases we face as students. We had a panel discussion of two professors and the study abroad coordinator to give their insights on the subject. All of our panelists have lived, been or are from different countries. We asked them questions about if they have faced any prejudices, how they dealt with it and how to combat it. We then opened up our CEE for questions from the audience.

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