Kaitlyn Hott, a Vira Heinz Scholarship recipient, student of Lincoln University, traveled to Valencia, Spain for eleven weeks. In Valencia, Spain, Kaitlyn studied the difference between each Spanish speaking country and their individual Hispanic customs. As well as Kaitlyn developed a better understanding for the language of Spanish including learning the old language of Catalan. While studying at Universidad de Valencia, she helped with the arrangements of intercambio sessions for students at her university. Kaitlyn donated her time while volunteering at a nearby school to help children with their English courses.
As a volunteer, she met children with all different backgrounds as well as mentored the younger females for a role model to look up to. During her free time, she explored the city and surrounding regions; traveling frequently to the local beaches, the famous market in Old City, visiting local museums, traveling to Barcelona, Toledo, and Madrid, seeing many famous art work at the Museo Nacional de Prado. Kaitlyn used this opportunity to face her fear of heights when traveling in the ancient city of Toledo, which is set on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha in Central Spain. At the end of her journey, it was then time for Kaitlyn to say goodbye to her house mother, house sister, and the friends she had made in Spain over the past eleven weeks. She would deeply miss the country where she spent the past summer in that became her home. As a promise to herself and future goal Kaitlyn wants to continue to learn about other cultures around the world. In hopes in the future, one day Kaitlyn plans on returning to Valencia to visit the people she created friendships with. Kaitlyn will bring on her knowledge of the customs of Spain back to her family as well as her home university’s peer while majoring in Spanish. Kaitlyn believes everyone should have a little bit of the España culture in them, as it has left a major impact on her life.
CEE Title: Thinking Outside Your Comfort Zone – Study Abroad Version
Our CEE was named “Think Outside Your Comfort Zone: Study Abroad Version” because the forum was about allowing people to think farther than where they are comfortable. A lot of people will not try a different food dish, go to a different part of a city, say hello to a different crowd, or engage in conversation. Our forum was about facing different aspects of life and immersing one to try something new that they have never done before. Usually if one decides to make the opportunity it may happen to be outside of one’s comfort zone. Sara, Lyn, and I ended up making the forum a Study Abroad version because we would like everyone to think and believe it is possible to be able to study abroad. We shared how we individually faced our fears recommending the students to face any fears they have of wanting to study in a different country but may be scared of what might happened. Our CEE was about honesty and involved each of my team member’s personal testimony about their study abroad trip. For myself, I discussed how I spent almost three months in the city of Valencia which is located on the Mediterranean side of Spain. I discussed how I learned about Hispanic culture. I immerged myself into learning the differences of how each Spanish speaking country does differ from one another however, within some parts of the culture still are tied together. Not only did I share my study abroad experience, I also shared my personal story to inspire others that it is possible to be able to study abroad. Reminding my fellow peers that anyone is able to travel abroad. I hold back mostly from my personal life, because it doesn’t just involve myself, my life also involves my five-year-old son. I shared how I was able to travel abroad for the summer of 2018 as a young single mother given an opportunity just like everyone else. Not only did I share my story about being a single mother, I also encouraged others to place themselves in a situation where they are a minority and in a different culture. I gave my personal testimony for attending an HBCU (Historical Black College/University) as being a minority. The way Lincoln University has shaped me not just a student but a person wanting to learn more about culture.