Kristyn spent one month of her summer learning and growing much more than she ever could simply from a classroom. After receiving a generous scholarship from the Vira I. Heinz program, she was able to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica to study Spanish. Kristyn had never flown on a plane before this trip, nor had the opportunity to travel. With the scholarship she was able to expand much more than simply her Spanish vocabulary, she evolved who she is as a person. After class everyday, Kristyn was able to travel around San Jose and practice her Spanish, people skills, expand her confidence, and observe others from a different culture. Observing others was very important to Kristyn due to her background in Psychology and interest in social research in the future. Kristyn has now decided to focus on social psychology while earning her BA all due to her observations in Costa Rica. On the weekends she was able to visit many destinations around Costa Rica with great friends that her program had given her. Kristyn stayed in a very nice home-stay with local Costa Ricans that became like family to her and have given her great connections for years to come. before this experience, Kristyn was very nervous about leaving home. She was a very quiet, reserved person, but after this experience, she has become a more confident, outspoken woman. Kristyn is very thankful for the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and to brighten her future.
CEE Title: Adventure is Out There
The Thiel College CEE for 2017 was based around the idea of “thinking globally while acting locally.” The title of our CEE was “Adventure is Out There” with the main goal of getting our community to think about other cultures and experience them first hand. My group and I tackled this goal by setting up what could be considered a cultural fair. We set up tables from each of our countries for participants to come observe. We also had a brief introduction presentation explaining each of our cultures. It was very important to us to show the cultural differences between our chosen countries and the United States. After our brief presentation, all participants had the opportunity to learn more about each individual country as well. At each table the Vira Heinz awardee not only talked about their country, but about cultural differences between the United States and their country. Each table also had a dish from their countries. Along with food each table also had music that represented the countries that we visited. Visitors at each part of the world, had the chance to not only learn, but interact with the countries, which I believe was a huge hit! Overall, the CEE was very informative, successful, and fun!