Khanina spent a little over a month in Greece this summer. She studied Finance at the American College of Thessaloniki located in the second largest city in Greece. Khanina lived and did her everyday activities amongst locals, lived with locals, ate with locals, and shopped with locals. It didn’t take long for her feet to get wet in the culture. While taking Financial management at ACT, Khanina was able to connect with other Greek students. She was the only American in her class, and therefore was able to network with other students from the host country. Although Khanina took a Finance class, she got to learn much about the history of Greece, and Thessaloniki through some of the field trips offered in the classes, in addition to field trips offered by the college. Khanina used public transportation everyday to get home from school and she describes this as one of the scariest things at first, during her time abroad. Coming from a rural suburban area at home in America, the city life, let alone a foreign city life, was totally new for her. However, Khanina immediately had to adapt to figuring out her way around, without speaking or reading the language successfully. Khanina says the best thing about Greece was how nice the people were. In her spare time, Khanina explored the city with friends and studied her finance notes because in her words, “It was the most difficult class ever!”
CEE Title: Breaking Stereotypes Around the World
Our CEE, titled ‘Breaking Stereotypes Around the World’ was formed with the idea of creating a survival guide- themed presentation for our audience. A guide to breaking stereotypes around the world, where we discussed the pressing topic of stereotypes around the world, how we deal with them, how they affect us internationally, and how we can change them, constituted an example of ‘thinking globally & acting locally’. Following refreshments and settling in, the presentation began by giving a brief description on what the audience can expect the event to be like. This was done by introducing the concept of stereotypes to the audience. The general definition of a stereotype was shared and a light discussion followed, centering around what everyone recognizes stereotypes as. This discussion naturally led into a brief icebreaker activity. The activity involved the audience writing down their own preconceived stereotype about different groups of people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Beforehand, there were flashcards prepared with various different groups of people, based on these factors. Along with the activity came another group discussion reflecting on what members of the audience wrote down, how they differed from what their neighbors wrote down, and how they were similar. The activity vividly showed how everyone naturally associates different groups of people with certain behaviors, looks, and such. This allowed the audience to become aware of how they think, and how those presumptions can affect others. Our PowerPoint presentation had three sections, for each member of the cohort where we then dug deeper into the concepts of stereotypes. This included specific facts about certain stereotypes, stereotypes that we personally experienced internationally, and how each stereotype affected our interactions while abroad. Christene, Shaniece, and I went to three different countries and dealt with stereotypes that women of color face every day, all over the world. We were able to explain how the stereotypes we face affect us globally and discussed efficient ways to deal with them. The event was naturally carried along through lots of interactive discussion with the audience. We were constantly able to engage and relate with the audience, making our community aware of the issue we decided to tackle. The CEE was concluded by taking any questions having to do with stereotypes, more scenarios on how to handles them, and other related questions.