Chelsea Tessitore

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Waynesburg University

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

Chelsea Tessitore spent six weeks in India traveling to various places while studying traditional medicine and healthcare practices. During her stay she learned about Ayurveda, naturopathic medicine and yoga. She observed many health care procedures and practices with in naturopathy. She spent ten days in Naini Tal, where she worked with at Aarohi Liveihood Center which is a Non-Government Organization (NGO). Aarohi provides medical care to the people of Satoli, and provides them with employment opportunities. She spent one day working with children playing a variety of games out doors and was involved in an exercise program. Aarohi has a large medical bus that they take to the people of Satoli who cannot travel a long distance to the clinic. During her study abroad experience she also received a few classes of Hindi to become familiar with the language. While staying in Satoli, she got to participate in cooking and playing games with her host family. For her field study research project, Chelsea focused on women’s health which consisted of interviewing doctors, nurses and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). She also participated in several morning yoga classes. During her study in Rishikesh she was exposed to a week-long yoga theory course, which broke down yoga poses into what they are used for medically. Finally, when she was not in class, Chelsea shopped at the markets to practice bargaining, went on a variety of excursions and experienced the culture of India.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: The Truth Behind the Cities: What happens behind the picture perfect moments?

For our community engagement experience, we presented many picture-perfect moments from our host country entitled The Truth Behind the Cities. For each country, we highlighted the well-known aspects and most recognized landmarks specific to each country. Then, we presented current social issues including opioid abuse, poverty, homelessness, and greyhound racing. During my international experience in India, I was exposed to rampant poverty and the lack of clean drinking water. I painted a picture for the audience by sharing my ten-day homestay experience. I highlighted that I had to walk a fair distance each day to obtain water during my homestay experience. My host family’s home was located on a large hill surrounded by other homes that all shared the same water source. Every day at six a.m. before the outside temperature would get too hot, we would walk down the hill with buckets and bring water back to the house.
After sharing all of our international experiences, we then utilized roundtable discussions to provide an intimate question-and-answer session with the audience. Each person who attended the discussion received a colored note card which corresponded to each country. We had each table labeled with a specific color and everyone rotated at the end of fifteen minutes. This gave a chance for everyone to have an opportunity to attend the country of their choosing. Finally, we had panel discussion at the end of the forum so that any additional questions regarding each country could be answered.  Finally, traditional food from each country was provided for participants to sample.