University of Pittsburgh | GreensburgHeinz Programming Area:
Allaina Kling spent seven weeks in Spain focusing on her language skills and taking in the culture to further prepare her to return to Spain to work in the future. She partnered with her host family to help them learn English as they taught her Spanish. For seven weeks, Allaina immersed herself in the Spanish language. She took two different classes at the University of Cadiz and practiced her skills with her host family who taught her more than just the language. She helped to prepare her host brother who plans to come visit the states in September. It was a large goal of Allaina’s to learn the language and culture so that she can go back to Spain in her future career. Working with the family she not only saw their English skills greatly improve but she also saw her own abilities to speak Spanish grow as well. It was rewarding to take part in this exchange of language and it helped grow her appreciation for the culture in Spain and the family who was so willing to share it with her. Upon return home, Allaina has been in contact with her host family who is helping her plan her trip back to Spain so she can volunteer teaching English.
CEE Title: One Love: A Conversation on Cultural Tolerance
One Love: A Conversation on Cultural Intolerance was an event that focused on cultural intolerance and what that entails. We shared the experiences of cultural intolerance we experienced in other countries and compared it to the cultural intolerance that occurs every day in the United States in the form of skits. The skits consisted of everyday events like going to the bakery and walking down the street and then placed it in another country and then compared to the same situation that would happen in the United States. Along with these skits, a PowerPoint presentation that consisted of Americans of various heritages and ethnic descents challenged the stereotypes that these people were not Americans. By asking the audience to guess where the people were from they were forced to assume. Then, revealing that all these people were Americans made the audience face their own stereotypes and hopefully break away from them. The panel discussion consisted of fellow students who were able to answer the audience questions about what it was like to be from another country and to share their personal experiences. Writing the questions they had on paper and being able to stay anonymous allowed for honest questions/concerns and even more honest answers. By hearing the experiences of fellow classmates we hoped to shed light on the idea that we are all people, different in our own ways who all deserve respect and tolerance. The whole idea of our CEE was a focus on cultural intolerance, what it means, what it looks like and how you can change it.