Cherly Brown

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Duquesne University

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

Cheryl Brown spent her summer in Salamanca, Spain for 6 weeks. While there she went on weekend excursions to other cities in Spain, like Toledo, Madrid, Valencia, etc. She also visited two countries while abroad, Portugal and Italy. While in Spain she took three classes in the subject areas of Spanish History/Architecture, Spanish Conversation, and Spanish Grammar. Through these courses Cheryl was able to enhance her Spanish language skills while also learning more about the Spanish culture. Being fortunate enough to see more than one city, Cheryl was able to see how the Spanish culture had its variations depending on the city, just like in America. In addition, Cheryl learned a lot about European architecture, and how some styles of architecture were unique to certain areas. Cheryl spent a lot of her free time with her host mom to help her better understand the family dynamic of the Spanish culture. Much like the African culture that she is used to, she learned that Spanish people are too focused heavily on family and its values. She learned more than she ever thought that she could by studying abroad and immersing herself in the culture fully allowed her to keep an open and learning mind. Also, being able to visit other countries like Italy and Portugal, Cheryl was able to compare and contrast more in-depth about the similarities and differences between the countries. 

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title:  Beauty Around the World

For our CEE, we wanted to highlight beauty standards around the world and how they contribute to the dynamic of each culture, including here in the United States. We first watched a youtube video about a girl who sent a picture to every country and said "make me beautiful", the video showed how the picture was changed for each country and specific features that each country found to be "beautiful". After watching the video we turned our attention to the audience to see what they thought about the video; what took out to them. After this portion we moved into beauty standards of the individual countries that we each went to. In this part of the presentation we highlighted the traditional and modern beauty standards of our countries. We then took these standards and opened up the discussion to compare U.S. beauty standards to that of the individual countries that we discussed. After the presentation we moved into round table discussion; this portion was solely to move the audience out of their comfort zone and talk about pressing issues today when it comes to beauty. During this round table discussion we talked about issues like sexualization of men and women, views on what it means to beautiful according to the media, how has the media affected them personally, etc. This part in our CEE was probably the most impactful because we allowed the audience to be in a judgement free-zone and many were surprised how much alike they were in views. After ending the discussion we moved into a game. The objective of the game was that we put up a slide with 3 women on it none of them looking the same and we had two contestants and one judge. The contestants were asked to pick the girl that they thought was the most beautiful and it was ultimately left up to the judge to choose who they believe to be the "winner" and explain.