Schreyer Service-Learning Trip to Kenya and Tanzania
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Macie Plotkin

Liberal Arts Major(s): Psychology
Minor: Business in the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience was interacting with the people that I met in Tanzania and Kenya. The knowledge that I gained through conversation provided me with a cultural outlook that I had not previously had. By interacting with locals in the communities that I visited, I was able to have a deeper understanding of communal values and local ways of life.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically by expanding my horizons on cultural awareness and cultural values. As a psychology major, these topics enabled me to look at the communities that I was in through a different set of senses, as I had a greater understanding of what it meant to be a member of the given communities. Thanks to this experience, I will go back to school with a greater understanding of different cultures, and a broader comprehension of why different communities act certain ways.

This experience impacted me academically by expanding my horizons on cultural awareness and cultural values.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

For the majority of my life I have known that I have wanted to have a career where I help people; this trip has solidified this belief. By going abroad to two developing countries, I have been able to learn about how not all well-intended actions produce good outcomes, and how to ensure that one can be helpful while attempting to do so. With this knowledge, I go can dive further into discovering my career path with extended knowledge on what it means to truly help another person.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Part of the the Paterno Fellows Program is to challenge oneself, and this trip definitely fulfilled that aspect. Not only was I challenged with the task of deeply understanding cultures and communities different than my own, but I also had some of my own beliefs challenged. Through meaningful conversation and actions, I was able to learn more about other cultures, myself, and the world around me. The Paterno Fellow Program has taught me that challenging myself personally can allow for meaningful growth, which this trip has definitely produced.

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