Krista Kierys

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Duquesne University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

Krista Kierys lived with a host family in the medieval city of Siena, Italy for five weeks. It was here where her host mom and dad so warmly introduced her to the wonders of Italian culture and even drove her around the cobblestone covered streets on a vespa motor scooter. While abroad, Krista volunteered in the stroke unit at the local hospital. It was here where she was able to fully observe the Italian Healthcare System. She acquired a great deal of knowledge regarding the public healthcare system and had the opportunity to converse with nurses, physicians, and surgeons. Krista was also able to aid the nurses with the general care of the patients. In addition to volunteering at the hospital Krista volunteered at a local soup kitchen. Here, she was able to cook and serve food to those in need and also come to know the people of Siena. Krista was able to make an impact and create a bond that she will never forget. During the week, Krista would partake in an Intensive Italian Study course. She would apply what she learned through various adventures throughout the city of Siena. These adventures included trips to the market, restaurants, and numerous museums, and churches. While abroad, Krista enlightened herself everyday whether it was by climbing 560 stairs to reach the top of the tower in the Piazza Del Compo, participating in an Italian cooking lesson, visiting the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain in Rome, riding down the canal on a waterbus in Venice, climbing to the top of the Duomo in Florence, or by visiting the Leaning Tower in Pisa. One of the most challenging experiences was when Krista volunteered in a town called Tempera, in Abruzzo, which was where a horrific earthquake occurred this past year. While in Tempera, Krista slept in a tent and lived like the earthquake victims. She would serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, provide English lessons, and create games and entertainment for the children. It was here where Krista was exposed to the heartbreak of this natural disaster and vowed to continue to dedicate her life to helping those in need. Studying abroad changed Krista and gave her opportunities that she never thought possible.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: St. Vincent de Paul Clothing Drive