Valerie Flatley

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Home Institution:

Bethany College

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International Experience Summary:

Valerie Flatley spent seven weeks in Paris, France studying French politics, history, and the European Union and living with her host mother, Martine.  While in her daily French classes she encountered people from all over the world, each with a different background and story to tell.  Her daily international relations classes dealt with the current political issues in France and throughout the European Union including the impact of the recent economic crises on the peoples of the EU, the ongoing conflict between the poor immigrant population and the upper class of the French society, and the heated debate concerning Muslim women and the wearing of the burka.  Over a course of seven weeks, Valerie visited with dignitaries at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, spent an afternoon at TV5, the French-network station that broadcasts to the Francophone world, discussed French politics and the role of women with the woman president and executive director of TV5, Suzanne Gouin, and visited UNESCO in Paris. On the weekends, Valerie had the opportunity to visit and make friends in Dublin, Ireland and Prague, Czech Republic.  Prior to arriving in Paris, Valerie spent two weeks in Germany with the Bethany College German Club exploring the Ruhr Valley, the European Cultural Capital in 2010.  She made lasting friends that she still keeps in contact with today.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Take Back the Night