University of Pittsburgh | OaklandHeinz Programming Area:
Chelsea Davis studied abroad in East Legon, Ghana, for six and a half weeks through the CIEE Summer Ghanaian Studies Program. At the University of Ghana, she took Politics in Ghana since Independence, where she learned about the country’s ongoing struggle to maintain steady development and how tribal tradition and the Ghanaian culture in general have influenced Ghana’s government. She also took a class entitled Music and Dance Forms of Ghana, where she not only learned traditional drum rhythms, songs, and dances but also discovered the influence that music and dance carry in Ghanaian communities and the deeper meanings behind the words, rhythms, and movements. Furthermore, she lived in a homestay with ten family members, which gave her more insight into the importance of tradition and culture in Ghana and showed her the strength and quality of family ties. She spent many nights talking with them about their backgrounds and what brought them together and even traveled to the Volta Region with her host uncle to see the village in which many of the older family members grew up; she met some of their extended family. During her free time, Chelsea volunteered at Beacon House Orphanage, where she helped provide the children with some well-deserved individual attention as they did schoolwork and played games. On the weekends, she traveled to other parts of the country where she discovered the beauty and thrill of Ghana’s vast landscape, explored the country’s historical sites, and experienced the hustle and bustle of busy markets. By the end of her program, she felt a strong attachment to the culture and people of Ghana and would like to return in the future.
CEE Title: Pyramid of Cultural Immersion: Connecting the World One Country at a Time (PCI)
Chelsea helped create Pyramid of Cultural Immersion: Connecting the World One Country at a Time (PCI) which encouraged high school students to broaden their global perspectives by pursuing travel opportunities at a young age. Chelsea and her team executed the project at Gateway High School to an audience of fifty freshman to which they presented on the value of cultural immersion and linguistic acquisition. Shortly after the presentation, the students played a game of “International Jeopardy,” which included facts about cultures from around the world. Following her CEE, Chelsea received word that several of the students had enrolled in language classes and started speaking with their parents about studying abroad.