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Mentor Profile

Bio

mentor picture Destinee
 
Destinee
Junior Year Student
University of California, Los Angeles
I am a junior studying Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. I am bi-racial and am also the first in my family to attend a university. In 2011 I studied abroad for a semester in Rome, Italy. During my time in... I am a junior studying Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. I am bi-racial and am also the first in my family to attend a university. In 2011 I studied abroad for a semester in Rome, Italy. During my time in Europe I also traveled to England, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic and France. I was able to learn, see and experience so many things while I was abroad. Each city I visited offered a new adventure, new culture and new friends. I feel that studying abroad was one of the best things I have done in my life and I hope I will have another opportunity to go abroad before I graduate.

Responses

  1. There were a few times when I felt threatened while I was in Italy. Men will stare, say things to you and even invade your personal space. Occasionally my female friends and I were harassed on the crowded buses after soccer games. I would tell the men to stop both in English and Italian, with varied success. My friends and I would usually leave the bus and wait for the next one. Some Italian men take advantage of the fact that you are an American girl studying in their country and they think you will be too afraid to tell them to stop. It’s important to stick up for yourself and remove yourself from any potentially dangerous situations.
    4 answers – Gender – Safety Issues
  2. Before I left I did not have very many concerns about racism. I am half Black and have always lived in places where I was the minority. I was used to being a little different than most people but was never really troubled by it. While abroad I did not suffer from racism but did have a realization that shocked me somewhat. After a few weeks in Italy I noticed that I had not seen anyone else who looked like me. There were Italians, other Europeans and some Africans but no one seemed to be half-Italian, half-Black. I had not expected Italy to be so lacking in the diversity I was accustomed to in America. People seemed more curious about me and I was whispered about quite a bit but that was basically the extent of it.
    6 answers – Racism
  3. Re-entry can be very difficult for some students. Parents want to show interest by asking questions such as “what did you enjoy the most?” or “what did you learn?” These broad questions can be very hard for students to answer. It is impossible to sum up everything one has learned or experienced while abroad. It is important to let your student share all the stories and pictures that they are willing to share but it is additionally to give them space to adjust. He/she was just living in a foreign country (without parents) and may be feeling like his/her independence is being threatened. Welcome your student home, show you are interested and then give them to become reacquainted with their environment.
    3 answers – Re-Adjusting to Home
  4. I felt a whole mixture of emotions once I arrived in Italy. I was primarily excited and happy but was also scared and nervous (but I tried really hard not to let the fear show). I had never been to Europe before I went on this trip and I did not know what to expect. When I finally at my apartment and met my seven (yes, seven) roommates it was a relief to know they were all experiencing the same feelings.
    5 answers – While Abroad
  5. It is best to contact your scholarship providers as different sponsors tend to have different rules. All of my scholarships did carry over but I had to submit additional paperwork to the sponsors. Also be sure to keep up-to-date on any scholarship renewal deadlines that might occur while you are abroad.
    2 answers – How to pay
Sponsors
CEA Global Education
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad in Australia