Unbound Prometheus
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Tiara Dowling

Major: Women's Studies, Criminology
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this study abroad experience from one my friends here at University Park. She had taken a class taught by Dr. Samuel Richards and Dr. Laurie Mulvey, who had mentioned the experience to her. We decided to go to enjoy a learning experience with two of the best educators at Penn State.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My study abroad experience gave me a different perspective on social issues such as racism, refugees, language, and political decisions through discussions and observations. I was in Kavala, Greece for two weeks, but it felt as though I had been there forever. The residents make you feel right at home by engaging you in conversation, wanting to actually help you, and suggesting places to go eat. The people were extremely welcoming to us everywhere we went; there was even a group of residents who offered to pay for our meal. Even at the airport in Athens, where there were people from all over, there was a kind atmosphere. I learned so much about how our culture is different from theirs. For example, in Kavala they are more touchy than in American culture.

I feel as though this experience has prepared me to ask questions that no one else will ask and to explore what others will not explore.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because it put to use what I had been learning here at Penn State for the past two years about global conflicts and women. For example, I learned about how Greece switched to the euro and their economic crash. I had background information on the subject from my global feminism course at Penn State. I was able to put a face to what I was learning which made it more real to me. I hear about conflicts that are going on overseas all the time on the news, but to see them up close and personal made me want to help more. We met with refugees during one of our class periods. I learned more about myself and the situation than I ever could learn in a classroom. I feel as though this experience has prepared me to ask questions that no one else will ask and to explore what others will not explore.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After finishing my undergraduate degree at Penn State, I want to go to law school and become a juvenile lawyer. This experience impacted me because as a lawyer I have to be able to see more than one solution or perspective in a case; taking the conflict course gave me the tools to see from so many different perspectives. Taking a course with students from around the world taught me to understand before I respond and to voice my own opinions without any filter. I can now see more than one solution, and I can now better understand others when they are voicing opinions that I do not agree with. This experience has encouraged me more than ever to become a lawyer because I want to help people in need, and one of those ways to help is at a political or legal level.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. Traveling gives students an outlook that we cannot get by staying in the country we are from, basically looking through an altered window. We have to get out, explore, form questions, and help in the ways that we can.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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