Allyson Wernert

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Waynesburg University

Heinz Programming Area:
Arts and Culture
International Experience Summary:

Allyson Wernert studied abroad in Tokyo, Japan for six weeks through Sophia University.  She was there to learn the language and to experience Japanese culture. She was able to do so through her classes and through her interactions with people. She picked up little things about the culture such as what side of escalators you stand or walk on or proper train etiquette through her interactions with these people and by paying close attention to others around her. Not only was she able to experience Japanese culture but she was also able to learn about other cultures of the world through the people she met and befriended from both her class and from the house that she lived in. It was also through these people that she learned to value the friendships that she has made, not just in Japan but also her friends back home. Being in Japan made her realize just how important her friends and family are to her and how lost she would be without them. While over there, she became a lot more independent than she was before. She’d never really been separated from her family or friends, so going to Japan by herself was a whole new experience. She had to learn to navigate the city by herself when did not know the language and had never been to a big city alone. By the end of the program she was successfully able to navigate the city by herself.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Hidden World of Human Trafficking

The name of the CEE that the 2014 Vira Heinz Cohorts from Waynesburg University put on was called Out of Sight, Out of Mind: the Hidden World of Human Trafficking. The purpose of the event was to inform on human trafficking which is an issue that not many people are aware that exists. It was divided into three different parts and was an interactive walkthrough. It took approximately twenty to forty minutes for most participants to go through. The first section of the event was an introduction where people would sign in as well as pick up a biography of a human trafficking victim. In that first room was also a mock twitter feed of other stories that belonged to human trafficking victims. The second room was the main part of the event. There the participants could follow the story of their person they got and see how they entered into human trafficking and how they were able to make it out. The third room was the conclusion to the event. In it were different organizations that had set up informational booths for people walking through to visit. Before they left people had to fill out a short survey on what they learned about human trafficking. After the main part of the CEE was a performance by P.W. Gopal, a human trafficking activist that also provided a booth in the third room.