Home Madrid university Global Experiential Learning Spotlight: Aicha Ly

Global Experiential Learning Spotlight: Aicha Ly

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Tell us a bit about your experience with Experiential Global Learning. To begin with, why did you choose a virtual program in Madrid?

I chose the program I did for various reasons. First, they deal with issues relating to poverty, gender inequality, environmentalism and international relations (linked to Mozambique and the United States from Spain). Second, it’s virtual, which allows me to have international experience while enjoying making memories and connections nationally in my last semester of college. Third, my supervisors and I mostly speak Spanish, which is great practice.

I’m the president of the Human Rights Club at Eastern CT State University. Being also a major in political science and a minor in modern languages, who wants to pursue a career in international relations, this program was a perfect fit for me. I’m also used to Spanish from the Caribbean and Mexico, so Spanish from Spain has been an interesting change for me that I’m learning from. While the Spanish spoken anywhere is generally the same, Spaniards use terms such as “vosotros” that are unique to them.

Of course, each country also has a unique culture, and I don’t really know many Spaniards. So, it has been a great learning experience that enhances my global citizenship and broadens both my connections and my perspective.

What did you take away from the experience?

From this experience, I gained more international connections and perspectives. I gained more interpersonal skills and improved my foreign language and improvisation skills.

What unique global experiential learning opportunities have you encountered during your virtual study?

A unique opportunity for global experiential learning that I have encountered during this time is being able to connect with a global organization while staying in the United States.

What do you think is your most memorable moment of the trip?

I think my most memorable moment was my first meeting with my supervisors. They have truly created a welcoming atmosphere and showcased all the projects they have instilled in Mozambique which have actually led to positive and lasting changes that empower people in their rural way of life while respecting and improving the environment. They also set the stage to give me a lot of autonomy which allowed us to work together to figure out how I could be most helpful while having a fun and rewarding experience that fits my skills and my job. time. Working with Azada Verde is exciting because I feel like I’m part of an organization that is really doing its part to change the world for the better, starting with Africa.

How has global experiential learning helped you understand and appreciate your program’s field of study?

Experiential Global Learning has helped me understand and appreciate my program’s field of study by truly showing me how interdisciplinary and diverse international relations are.

Is there any advice you would give to future students entering a program or those who are just starting to think about an experience?

Two big tips I would give to other students are:

1.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your supervisors and/or partners are there to give you answers or point you in the right direction to get them so you can get the most out of your program experience.

2.) Find ways to immerse yourself in other cultures, not just in the work you do. This is even possible in virtual programs. Talk to people you work with from other countries about their culture while sharing your own. Try to speak primarily in their language(s).