Bethany Hallam

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Greensburg

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

Bethany Hallam attended an Intensive French Language course at University of Paris IV – Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne for four weeks in Paris, France. Her class contained about 20 people from all different places and cultures. The course was taught strictly in French. This was great for developing Bethany’s language skills because she was guaranteed to speak, hear, and see only French for at least 2 hours, five days a week. In addition to her regular class, she attended a phonetics course for two of the four weeks for an additional hour each day. This class was particularly helpful because the instructors used tools that enabled students to hear their own voices which allowed them to work on their pronunciation. Outside of class, Bethany spent much of her time with her diverse classmates. She now has great friends from Argentina, Canada, Libya, Brazil, Australia, England, and Korea. Bethany and her classmates often explored lesser known places in France, like small flea markets and museums. Exploring the country with a group that had members from so many different cultures fostered a discussion and exchange that was both rewarding and educational.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: One Love: A Conversation on Cultural Tolerance

My CEE was titled One Love: A Conversation on Cultural Intolerance.  The overall message of my CEE was to inform the audience of the many different ways that cultural intolerance is manifested.  In order to show what cultural intolerance “looks like”, my group and I created skits which exhibited everyday occurrences that we witnessed either abroad or in the USA. Following each skit, we asked for audience feed-back through questioning the behavior that was exhibited in the skit.  The purpose of the reflection after each skit was to be sure that the audience understood exactly what was wrong with the action portrayed previously.  In addition, we provided useful tips for what to do instead as well as the reasoning behind the actions.  Following the skits, we invited a guest panel comprised of international students, or students who were raised outside of the United States of America, to join us on the stage in order to answer a few questions.  Each member of the panel introduced themselves and stated their home country.  The questions were collected as the audience entered the event, so we chose random questions from the audience to ask the panel.  By asking the audience to write down their questions, it was a simple way of receiving audience input without members of the audience feeling uncomfortable with the questions they wanted to ask.  We concluded the event by thanking the audience for attending and calling them to action to help stop cultural intolerance in our community.