Corrine Kirk

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Greensburg

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

May 20th, 2017 Corinne Kirk set on her journey to Copenhagen, Denmark through the DIS program. Corinne spent a total of six weeks in Copenhagen, one week in Berlin, and one week in Ireland. The courses she enrolled in included Children with Special Needs and Human Health and Disease: A Clinical Approach. As a biology major, hoping to one day work in the medical field and specializing in the care for children with special needs, the classes reaffirmed and even broadened her idea and experience of those topics. Time was spent visiting various schools and hospitals. Corinne had the opportunity to speak with the children and their teachers, as well as trained medical professionals. A new area of interest brought about by this trip are the laws and regulations behind children’s rights. The children and parents of Denmark had a different dynamic than that of the United States of America. One contributing reason for the difference is the ratification of the rights of children. The United States is the only country, out of the ninety to make the agreement, not to sign it into law. Much apprehension exists in the United States, with logic of course. How do you learn about children and not incorporate them in the process? The other half of the study abroad program, which focused on clinical skills, and training proved to be a profound trial and adventure. The emergency medicine simulations were taxing but incredibly insightful. Touring hospitals in Copenhagen and Berlin showcased satisfied workers and healthcare systems that oppose our own. 

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: America, America, What do you see?

We took our experiences in the following countries: Peru, Denmark, Thailand, and Cuba and looked at our thoughts before, during, and after. We first discussed our expectations based on what little knowledge we had of the countries. Then we each spoke about what actually was experience in each respective country. Taking that further, we exposed some of the sources as to why we originally thought what we did. Our specific categories were the News, Social Media, Education, and Entertainment. The news for many people serves as the guiding light into what the rest of the world is up to and the role of their home country in foreign affairs. Social media portrays only the vain and superficial aspects of cultures, people, and countries which creates an inherent problem in depth for us. Education, history in particular, is the primal base for understanding the context of one’s country and heritage. Entertainment, specifically United States industries, spread across the world with oversimplified portrayals of races, genders, and cultures brewing misconception one after another. After we touched on those subjects, we brought the concept of prejudices and perceptions to our specific campus, sharing the issues amongst the majors, branches, and open discussion with audience and panel participation.