UMD: A Globally Connected University

Alexis Foley

Program: UMD-Winter: Ghana (CHSE)
Term: Winterterm 2018
Major: Student Affairs

I learned what it truly means to be a Global Practitioner. From our visits to four institutions in Ghana as well as working alongside our partners at the University of Cape Coast, I learned what it means to mold systems that are unique to any given cultural context. I learned that it is important to have multiple perspectives and be able to see through different lenses in order to truly be a global practitioner. 

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: I would tell students that hold similar identities to myself to take it all in!! Ghana is a beautiful place with so much rich history connected to people of the African Diaspora. Learn as much as you can- listen to the history, the stories, and prepare for an amazing experience. 

Working and learning alongside our partners at the University of Cape Coast as well as meeting with the Deputy Minister of Education was quite the experience [as we communicated and worked] across cultural boundaries. I was moved and inspired by the rich history [of Ghana], the spirit of the Ghanaian people, and the vision for the future of Ghana. Jollof rice is also absolutely amazing.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Start early and see as much of the world as you can. As a graduate student, this was my first study abroad experience and it absolutely changed my life. The way that I view the world has shifted tremendously and in turn I have become more rounded as a person and as a global scholar. If I could go back to my undergraduate years, I would definitely take advantage of the many short and long-term opportunities to study abroad to start the journey of expanding my mind beyond my reality early on.