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Rachel Hughes

Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2017
Home Institution: 
Duquesne University
Heinz Programming Area: 
Economic Opportunity
Study Abroad Country: 
Ghana, Africa
International Experience

Rachel Hughes had a wonderfully enlightening experience in Ghana this past May. Her experience included two classes that exposed her to traditional African religions, as well as music from all over the continent. Class time was intermixed with real life experiences including trips to museums, where she was able to meet with Ghanaians and hear about the country’s history from its own citizens’ perspectives. She also got to attend many concerts featuring different types of music in different types of venues. While in Ghana, Rachel got to see both rural and more urban climates. She traveled with her group, starting in southern Ghana, all the way to the northern end and back, stopping in towns and cities along the way. The cities were bustling with young students, older folks, goats, and taxis. The houses were mostly constructed with cement and metal, and the roads were paved and divided the tall palm trees. The rural areas featured clustered mud huts with straw roofs, and fields filled with cocoa farms and animals. The first few days of her experience, Rachel experienced some mild culture shock and shyness after being thrust into a completely new and diverse environment, but after time and encouragement from her peers, began to reach out to new people and experiences and found the value and beauty in the new culture. Rachel returned from her experience with new friends, new favorite foods, and a new respect for people across the world with different cultures than her.

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