Michelle Qu

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Arcadia University

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International Experience Summary:

Michelle had the opportunity this past summer to take a comparative program on the topic of public health systems in England and the Netherlands offered by CIEE. By living relatively close to the central city in both countries, she was able to see first-hand, as well as learn, how the social determinants of health impact the overall health of individuals. Through her classes, she got the chance to learn and hear first-hand from drug users, sex workers, immigrants, and immigrants on how current policies affect them and how they feel regarding said policies. And such policies are mainly the reason as to why the Netherlands is leading in the health sector. They have more socialistic views and regulations of the policies, but she also learned and discovered that there are still major improvements to be made and even have questioning traditions. She started off with the mindset that the American system is severely skewed and needs a lot of work. Since taking this course she learned that just because many countries look up to the Dutch system it does not mean that they are without flaws. On more of a cultural experience, Michelle has learned that being more collectivistic is not a negative and shameful thing. Admitting the need for help, working together, relying on others makes room for self-growth and is a form of self-care. She should not live in a state of mind in which vulnerability means weakness. As an independent person immersing herself into countries who are far more collectivistic than the US, she had to adjust accordingly and quickly. During her free time, she actively went out by herself and explored areas close to her, to experience the surrounding culture in its raw form, with no outside influence on her perception of the new environments. By doing such, she was able to appreciate as well as partake in the culture. This experience has allowed Michelle to expand her knowledge and develop and learn more about herself on a deeper level.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Arcadia Stands Against Sexual Assault

The title of our CEE is “Arcadia Stands Against Sexual Harassment.” Sexual harassment is a very broad term that encompasses any type of unwanted and undesired sexual attention/advances regardless of the setting and environment. It also affects every community and every demographic, not just particular ones. Within the three different countries that our team visited, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Spain, there are varying rates and occurrences of harassment and how each country decides to handle the problem. In London, there is a 73% conviction rate of sexual offenses. 70% of females in Amsterdam reported an experience of harassment at 13 or younger. In Spain, the ruling of a severe case of rape was a non-violent crime.  

From the available data, 11.2% of all graduate and undergraduate students in the United States are victims of sexual assault and it is estimated that anywhere between 87 and 94% of students do not file a legal report. To put that on an easier scale, that is an assault happening every 73 seconds. When intersecting race, reports were found more prevalent among American Indian/Alaska natives, mixed races, and black women and men. When intersecting the LGBTQIA+ community, the CDC reported that one in ten members of the community has been assaulted. This goes to show how prevalent this issue is and should be addressed with a lot of emphases. Through our campus, we have policies in place as well as various resources available to anyone in the community. Together, with the right education and a willingness to help, we can make the environment that we all live in more safe and comfortable.