Sophia Zegarski

International Experience Country:
Czech Republic
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Temple University

Sophia Zegarski is a sophomore at Temple University currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics. Outside of her studies, she enjoys running and exploring the City of Philadelphia and all it has to offer. In addition to her academics, Sophia is also highly involved in both the Temple and Philly communities. She is a midshipman in the University of Pennsylvania Navy ROTC program and holds a leadership position as the Color Guard Commander. Sophia also is currently involved as a Resident Assistant in Housing and Residential Life. Sophia thoroughly enjoys this position as it creates an opportunity for her to connect students to campus and support them in a successful transition to college life. Upon graduation from Temple, Sophia plans to commission into the United States Navy, with the hope of selecting Naval Aviation.     
International Experience Summary:

Sophia Zegarski was given the opportunity to travel to Prague in the Czech Republic for four weeks. There she studied humanities with a focus on Czech culture, history, and literature. She was able to visit multiple cultural sites that directly related to the history studied throughout her course. During her time in Prague, Sophia observed how capitalism expanded in Central Europe in the 21st century after the fall of communism. She interviewed several people who were teenagers at the time of the Velvet Revolution to gain insight into how both economic systems have affected individuals. Additionally, she took time to absorb how society and culture differ in Prague compared to the United States. Sophia also took the time to broaden her interest in music while abroad. She visited the Popmuseum in Prague, a museum dedicated to the history of rock music in the Czech Republic, specifically in the 1950s. There, she was able to talk to the curators of the museum and discuss how despite the shutout of Western culture in the communist era, Czech rock music was often inspired by American folk and rock music. This was one of many experiences that demonstrated to her how the international influences of different nations can affect even the smallest elements of culture. Overall, Sophia learned a great deal about international relations, economic influence, and cultural differences around the world. This was instrumental in developing her leadership abilities and in understanding cultural differences and how they influence people and their decisions. 

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: “Adaptation in the Modern World”

The Temple 2022 VIH Cohort spent several months developing and planning a CEE called “Adaptation in the Modern World. “This CEE was intended to give the Temple Community an opportunity to learn about global citizenship and how cultures around the world have adapted in different ways. Each member of the Temple Cohort had their study abroad experience in very different countries. The CEE was set up in a panel format with a question-and-answer session at the end for the audience to engage with the speakers. Sophia Comport gave her talk on the development of the Korean language and how it adapted to American influences. Kal Brown gave his talk on how Thailand adapted to avoid being colonized by European powers. Alexandra Nuccio gave a talk about the introduction of Modern Medicine in Africa and how it has been blended with traditional African medicine. Sophia Zegarski gave a talk about how the people in the Czech Republic experienced the transition from Communism to Capitalism in the early 1990s. After each cohort member had completed their talk, the Temple Campus Coordinator, Zuri Jones, gave a short talk on her experiences with culture shock while living abroad over several years. After each speaker had talked, the audience had an opportunity to ask the panel questions. The panel discussed with the audience how experiencing the results of their topics allowed them to grow as global citizens. The audience was able to see firsthand how global citizenship helped the panel develop as leaders.