PITT HOME |FIND PEOPLE

Michelle Mendia

Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2017
Home Institution: 
Arcadia University
Heinz Programming Area: 
Children, youth, and Families
Study Abroad Country: 
Spain
International Experience

As a Criminal Justice and Spanish double major, Michelle studied in Granada, Spain for one month refining her Spanish proficiency. She also took classes on the History of Latin America and the culture of Spain. Her studies broadened her understanding of the importance of history and the way government can shape the outcome of its society for better or worse. Her studies included the various regimes and violation of human rights in South America that continue to have effects. While in Granada, Michelle visited important cultural landmarks that showcased the influence of the various rulers and religions that has shaped Spain, such as its Muslim and Catholic roots. Through the student residence she resided in she was able to interact with Spanish students in casual settings. These connections allowed Michelle to better understand aspects of the Spanish culture that is not taught in a classroom. She was able to participate in cultural activities such as the custom of “tapas” and the viewing flamenco shows. Through her personal explorations of the city and encounters with locals she became aware of the political and economic issues Spain faces. Michelle was also able to visit cities in Morocco and detect first-hand how Spain and Morocco have influenced one another and continue to do so. She was able to truly recognize Spain as a gateway between Europe and Africa.

 

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