Marquette Global
24. April 2014

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As Resident Director of Marquette’s South Africa Service Learning Program, I work closely with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) where Marquette students study while in South Africa. Marquette students learn and experience local history and culture through other young people at UWC, a university that was actively involved in the political struggle against apartheid. The university continues a culture of activism allowing young people, like Marquette students, to understand first-hand the environment which existed during the liberation struggle.

Most UWC students come from backgrounds that make it almost impossible to even think about attending universities abroad. The first generation students’ focus may just be to finish the first degree in order to ensure that his/her family is able to purchase the most basic needs, which most of us take for granted such as electricity and indoor plumbing. Other students are focused on how he/she will be able to raise his/her siblings and get them through school, while at the same time trying to complete their own studies.

Funding to bring UWC students to Marquette not only opens opportunities for future students, but also allows those fortunate enough to study in the U.S. to have a global view of their own lives and community.

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If a UWC student is able to study in the U.S., that individual will bring hope to their entire community that anyone can rise above the odds. He or she is someone others in the community can relate to, someone who has risen out of similar challenges and who overcame social exclusion.

It used to be that a high school diploma was sufficient for obtaining jobs in South Africa, but now without a college degree a student’s future is compromised. The value of a university degree is the open door of hope for siblings, neighborhoods and many others in the community where such opportunities are limited.

An international experience increases employment opportunities because companies want students who have experience and exposure; a critical prerequisite to be successful in the work environment.

In the same way that Marquette students enrich the classroom at UWC, the rich history and background that a UWC student would bring to Marquette would allow MU students to learn first-hand about the challenges and successes which exist in South Africa.

The cross cultural exchange increases global understanding of local and international public policy slowly bringing us closer to the reality of a global village.

Help bring a UWC Student to Marquette. Donate TODAY!

14. April 2014

For Easter this year I will be in Milan, Italy with two friends. I will spend Good Friday in Istanbul, Turkey and then take a flight to Milan on Saturday. Easter morning I plan on attending mass in Milan, which I think will be much easier than finding a mass in Istanbul. I’ll do my best to try to get into the Cathedral in Milan. I am excited to spend the resurrection of Jesus Christ in a city with such rich history!  

14. April 2014

I have always been an explorer. I have an insatiable desire to walk through unknown places and soak in as much as I can by observing the buildings, important landmarks, its people and their actions. So far, I have really enjoyed exploring Santiago and I continue to be amazed because there are and infinite amount places for me to see, whether it is a new building, park, or neighborhood. Daily, I am able to observe the people of this great country: a mother holding her child as he sleeps on the Metro, artists displaying their works in the Plaza de Armas, and the way that people will give what they can to those in need without hesitating about their own needs in that moment.

 

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14. April 2014

It’s officially been two months since I’ve been here, which is really a strange notion for me, since I feel as if I’ve lived in South Africa for all of my life. It really is funny how fast we, as human beings, can adapt and become accustomed to our environment. Being thrown into a new culture, and then being surrounded by that culture 24/7 for months, I’ve grown to take every experience day-by-day, which has alluded me to this belief that I’ve always been here. It’s sort of like that first time you leave for college, and after a few months (before Winter Break, and Thanksgiving Break especially), you feel as if you’ve always lived at your university, and that college life was your entire life.

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14. April 2014

This Easter, my family is visiting! They’ve never been to Europe before, so this gives me a chance to become an official Irish tour guide. Having visitors from home validates the study abroad experience. Our life here is surreal – traveling to new countries each weekend, listening to the blend of international accents in the classroom, and creating a home in a new city. Visitors from Marquette and home remind me that this is not simply a dream – it is an incredible reality.

31. March 2014

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Over our first “travel break” of the semester, my core course (European Business Strategy) took a trip to Riga, Latvia. We had some interesting lectures at the Stockholm School of Economics on working inside the European Union. There was one speaker who originated from Chicago, Illinois and after serving in the Peace Corps in Estonia, ended up never leaving the Baltics. He is now the head of a thriving investment firm in downtown Riga. Unfortunately, outside of the business lectures and an amusing class, our time in Latvia was dangerously unlucky. One kid got pick pocketed and ended up getting maced after trying to catch the perpetrator. The next night, two kids got beaten up in a parking garage for no apparent reason. To put it lightly, the native population did not warmly welcome our large group of American students.

Its safe to say that I loved the feeling of touching down in the happiest country on Earth: Denmark. Since then, it has started to really warm up. Between classes I’ve been able to bike around and see the central Rosenborg Park swarming with Danes. Although its barely fifty degrees out, everyone is hanging around the park like its the middle of summer.

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31. March 2014

Reporting to you live from Temple Bar on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Especially with the massive influx of international visitors coming in to celebrate the massive festival, I feel more like a local than a tourist. The city is absolutely buzzing. Pubs are packed, everyone is wearing green, and I have seen more shamrocks than I can count.

Even the weather cooperated for three days of sunshine as the city filled with tourists. However, these stereotypes are not true Ireland. As fun as the commotion of the city is, I have thoroughly loved experiencing my Dublin.

During this stage of the study abroad, we explore Ireland on a more organic level. We have already seen the tourist attractions – now is the time we claim the city as our own. I walk the city streets confidently and comfortably. When families, visitors, and guests come to visit, I am able to navigate the streets alone and speak honestly when they ask me what my favorite places are. I now know the cheapest grocery stores and the names of the streets. I have already picked up on the colloquial terms and have even adopted some of them into my vocabulary. Unfortunately, my Midwestern twang usually ruins the Irish charm. “That’s grand” simply does not sound the same when I say it.

 

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31. March 2014

Chilean Spanish, or Castellano de Chile, is different from the Spanish I’ve been learning for the last eight years. It is distinct because of the many modismos, or Chilenismos that are used. Chilenismos are Chilean words and phrases that are only used in Chile. These words are idiosyncratic and it is easy to catch Chileans using them. For example, Chileans use ‘cachai’ when explaining something as a way to say “Do you get it?” or “Do you understand?”


Before the Spanish came to Chile, the indigenous Mapuche people lived throughout Chile. As the two cultures mixed, the Spanish adopted Mapuchan words, which are commonly used in conversation. Sometimes students use Mapuchan words in my class and when they do, I become lost in translation.

 

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31. March 2014

If I had to pick one phrase to describe these first couple of weeks in Germany, it would probably be “wonderfully overwhelmed”. From the day we arrived, it’s been form after form, appointment after appointment and place after place.

There have been moments of chaos and confusion. My mom and I trying to manage my many suitcases. Making sure to catch the right bus, to make it to the right place on time. Getting to know the city and the logistics of it all. Coming to redefine my sense of normality. That first week, it felt like I was in a dream. Knowing that I was in Europe but not realizing the magnitude of the situation.

 

There have been moments of sheer exhaustion. Being out and about all day long for different orientation activities. Climbing up and down a hill to get to my bus stop.

 

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