Marla Holland

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Waynesburg University

Heinz Programming Area:
Arts and Culture
International Experience Summary:

Marla Holland studied abroad in Sydney, Australia for six weeks. Many people are unaware that Sydney is only the capital of New South Wales, not the entire country, yet it is the largest city (by population) in Australia. Marla spent the first half of her time abroad taking a class called Sport and Learning in Australian Culture. Also during this time and during the rest of her adventure abroad, she was delighted with the opportunity to intern with an educational psychologist at the University of Sydney. She built a special bond with her supervisor, not only through the work she completed, but also through the discussion of sports. She was able to attend several sporting events including rugby league, rugby union, and Aussie rules football (AFL) which contributed to her classroom learning about the sporting culture down under. Marla participated in two workshops as well, learning more about the techniques of rugby, AFL, net ball (comparable to basketball), and lawn bowling, an iconic Australian sport. Marla also had the opportunity to attend two phenomenal musical performances while abroad. Sydney became like a second home to Marla. She is grateful to the Vira I. Heinz program for inspiring her to get out of her comfort zone and continue growing as a young woman.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: The truth behind the cities, what goes on behind the picture perfect moments

Our CEE was executed to encompass each member of our cohort's respective countries and the very different experiences that each of us had while we were abroad. The title of our program was The truth behind the cities, what goes on behind the picture perfect moments. We sought out to ask our audience what their original thoughts were when they heard our respective country's name. We then preceded to ask if they thought about the topic we planned to focus on during the event - we assumed that they probably had not due to the perfect picture you form in your head when you think of each country and city, hence the title. Our CEE was carried out through a presentation, roundtable discussions, and finally a panel discussion. We also had refreshments after our event if anyone wanted to ask questions in a more personal setting. In the presentation portion, we all gave a little background information on our country and the issue many probably do not have any prior knowledge of. During the discussion portion, we separated the audience into small groups, by country, so they could discuss more in depth about the presentation that they had just seen. They were able to attend one more roundtable discussion before they were dismissed back to their originals seats for the panel discussion. During this time, they could ask questions regarding any country in which they had not had the chance to attend that country's roundtable discussion. The most important part of our CEE was to keep things personal, so that is why we initiated a lot of discussion as a part of program.