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Student Adventures Abroad in Ghana and Barcelona


Students in Ghana(Students in Ghana on the USAC program including Trinity students Raissa Audrey Tseumie, Shanta Bryant, Mabel Perez-Gutierrez, Destinee Smith, Karrin Thompson and Samrawit Keleta)

In May and June 2018, twelve Trinity students received Carnegie grants to participate in study abroad programs.  Six students went on the USAC program in Accra, Ghana; two went to Amsterdam, Netherlands; three went to Barcelona, Spain; one went to Cape Town, South Africa.  They are starting to report back on their marvelous experiences.  This blog includes reports from Raissa Audrey Tesumie who went to Ghana, and Elisia George who was in Barcelona.

Raissa Audrey Tseumie ’18:  Public Health in Ghana

I took two courses at the University of Ghana: International Health and Service Learning. Service Learning was a combination of classroom and community action. In addition to a once a week regular class, we had the opportunity to volunteer for schools or non-profit organizations. I choose to volunteer for the West African AIDS Foundation. Because I signed some confidential forms, I cannot reveal certain details. But as you may already know, I am very passionate about public health. I grew up in a family where many people died from AIDS. I lived in a community that discriminated a lot about people who have any type of infectious diseases. The mission and core values of West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF) inspired me. They provided equal care and support to their patients. More importantly, they provide moral support through counseling.

Audrey with friendsDuring my volunteering service at WAAF, I shadowed the doctor, I helped with data entry, I assisted the nurses, I helped reorganized confidential documents. I also proposed a research project for the future on HIV-1 Strains and Types/sub-types. As I stated on my outline for this potential project, I think that understanding the strains of HIV-1 that most people in GhanaAccra//WAAF have can help improve antiretroviral therapy. Base on my personal experience, and my experience in Ghana, I know that in many under developed countries, foreign aid or any non-profit organization (NGO) aid can never be detrimental for the people who suffer everyday. WAAF is doing their best to provide efficient service to their patients, but they need additional help especially financially.

I know that if one NGO like WAAF existed in my community (in Cameroon), some members of my family would still be alive today. I decide to create a fundraiser called “help improve health care in Ghana” not only because WAAF needs cryotherapy equipment that can help treat benign and malignant tissues. I started this initiative because I know that this equipment, can help save one life or one family at a time. we cannot save everyone, but we can start by saving one. WAAF has additional needs on their wish list for 2018, the cryotherapy equipment was one of the lowest prices on the wish list.

(Visit Audrey’s GoFundMe page here and help support the West African AIDS Foundation!)

I also volunteered to coach soccer with the Play And Learn Program.

Audrey and Ghanian childrenAudrey has also created two photo slideshows of her time in Ghana, you can see them here: Ghana I and Ghana II

Elisia George ’20: Becoming a “Gaudian” in Barcelona

Regardless of your age, race and creed studying in a foreign country allows you to experience a different culture whilst gaining knowledge of a new concept on your educational journey. Then, if you happen to be as blessed as I am, in the same process you get to be adopted into and adopt a family to make a life long connection as you are immersed into the daily lives and traditions of a people, where you come to realize that though oceans divide, and languages differ, we are more alike than we are different. We share the same loves, joys, desires, disappointments and sorrows and right there a bond is formed that will last a lifetime.

students in barcelona(Elisia George, Asia Hunter and Lesly Melgarez on the steps of the cathedral in Girona, famous for, among other things, being a location for filming “Game of Thrones” !!)

This program by CIEE was very well structured, in formulating a curriculum for a subject which should be boring and made it into an exciting and engaging learning experience that transformed my life and my view of Art, all aspects of it forever. My class was “Catalonia and Spain Through the Arts.” The class was structured to provide in class lecture and on-site lecture, and with that every student participated by preparing a presentation for every on-site lecture. This totally increased the retention aspect of the course as we saw through the eyes of our peers elements of the topics that were later reinforced by our professor, who was remarkable, passionate and very knowledgeable about this culture. Field trips included such places like the Dali Museum, Picasso Museum, La monumental, Sagrada Familia, La Rambla and my favorite of all Hospital San Pau.

Names like Dali, Gaudi and Picasso used to be just a name which I associated with paintings, but now I have labelled myself a full fledged “Gaudian” upon my introduction to Antonio Gaudi and Modernisme (a style of art that originated in Barcelona which had a significant impact on the World Fair of 1888). Catalonians are very proud of their heritage and have gone through remarkable lengths to preserve it, especially if it is associated with Antonio Gaudi. This is quite visible in the architecture of the city, and the preservation of various sites in and around Barcelona that adds to the richness of the amazing history and culture that governs them.

From Montjuic to Balconetta and Sagrada Familia to La Rambla, every corner of this city affords an opportunity for learning and engaging in the culture and history of Spain. The weekend trips and the weekly cultural interactions allowed us to interact with local students whilst experiencing the local culture outside of the instructional day. The Tapas experience, visits to Boqueria Market and taking in a Flamenco Show were some of the activities we enjoyed together. Space does not allow me to talk about the food, as it will take at least four pages to do so, but the food was amazing! Did I say amazing? I am forever grateful that I got to have this experience of a life time.

Elisia shares a few photos and her captions:

San Pau hospitalMy favorite field trip was to Hospital San Pau (above). In my opinion a Gaudi masterpiece. How could one not recover when surrounded by such beauty? One of many wards at this amazing hospital.

Dali museum exteriorOutside of The Dali Museum. Every corner of this building screams “surrealism”!!! Can you guess what the goldish elements on this building signify?

fountain in barcelonaFountain built in La Cuitadelle for the World Fair of 1818

Check back on this blog for more reports from our Adventurers Abroad!  And once the new academic year is underway we will be providing more information about opportunities to study abroad next summer…

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