Shaelyn Fabik

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Temple University

Heinz Programming Area:
Arts and Culture
Shaelyn Fabik is a Junior at Temple University currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Music with a minor in business. When she is not studying, you can find her supporting the local Philadelphia music scene by attending concerts and reviewing her experiences on her blog, The Concert Scrutinizer. She also volunteers frequently as a Philadelphia Live Nation Ambassador, in addition to volunteering as a singer at her hometown parish. Shaelyn is also involved in the Temple University Community through her work at the Student Center. Additionally, she serves as the Secretary and Social Media Coordinator for Temple’s Music Tech and Business Society. While most of her interests involve music, she can also be found crafting, watching the newest Netflix mini-series, or helping out at the family bakery. She is very grateful to be a part of the Vira I. Heinz program to be able to achieve her traveling goals.
International Experience Summary:

Shaelyn Fabik spent six weeks in Rome, Italy, going to class right off the Tiber River at Temple University Rome. She studied the courses of Italian Language I and Sustainable Environments. Staying in the neighborhood of Prati allowed Shaelyn to live like a local and experience Prati's many small businesses and restaurants. Shaelyn also invested in learning about the daily lives of the people of Rome by going grocery shopping, taking public transportation, going to mass in the Vatican city, and even experiencing the Italian healthcare system.

While the pandemic came with restrictions, studying abroad during this time provided a unique opportunity to enjoy Italy without crowds of tourists. Travel restrictions allowed Shaelyn and her fellow study abroad students to immerse themselves in Italian culture more than they would have in a "normal" year. Shaelyn was able to take the time to enjoy the diverse cities and regions of Italy including Florence, Venice, Verona, Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi, Salerno, Pisa, Todi, The Vatican, and Rome. While she stood where many have stood before, it was important to make the excursion as personal as possible. This involved making friends with not only her fellow students but also understanding the stories of those around her including friendly wait-staff and service workers and especially the Temple Rome professors and staff.

As an individual who is very interested in pursuing a career involving arts and culture, Italy served as the best place to study its beginnings. Rome is an especially important location for contemporary arts and culture. Shaelyn made sure to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from a multitude of artifacts from the beginning of art in history that are housed in Italy's many ancient landmarks including works from Michelangelo, Botticelli, and da Vinci. She also made sure to take note of modern Italian pop culture. This included an independent study on Eurovision, a popular European song contest that was occurring during Shaelyn’s time in Italy and Italy’s entry, the band Måneskin, ended up winning! This enriching experience inspired Shaelyn to continue to travel throughout her life and explore the global entertainment industry.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title Global Sustainable Systems 

The Temple University VIH 2021 Cohort community engagement experience reflected our, Sacha Downes and I, Shaelyn Fabik, study abroad experiences in Italy through the definitions of ‘Global Sustainable Systems.’ When thinking about the definition of sustainability, many first think of the term through an environmental lens but in a broad sense, sustainability means ‘the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.’ With this in mind, we discussed diverse ways to view sustainability is not only in the ecological sense but also through inclusion and global education.  

We based our CEE on these themes and brought them into action by holding a food drive and a cooking class with a workshop. Within the food drive, we were able to donate some food to our campus Cherry Pantry to help the community. As for our cooking class portion, we were able to bring members of the Temple University community closer together and teach them more about how their kitchen impacts the world. We also wanted to emphasize the importance of how to cook meals with less negative impacts. The meal that our guest chef taught us was mindfully prepared with local ingredients and without meat which are ways of promoting more ecologically sustainable lifestyles. We also provided perspectives from Italian culture that we could implement in the United States. Our cooking class also helped us reach further into the community and support Philadelphia local business owners who were our guest speakers.  

In our presentation, we also wanted to examine ways in which our community can create more sustainable ways of inclusion meaning putting people of color at the forefront of the environmental discussion. In this setting, we were able to bring our thoughts to the attention of the Temple University education abroad office which will allow for the administration to plan with this mindset for future students and which will continue to impact the community in the future.