As a Religious Studies major, Kylie Wright '13 took the opportunity to study abroad through the SIT Samoa program during the fall 2011 semester. With a whole new world of experiences under her belt, she has been able to take the best of what she learned abroad and include it in her life back at Gettysburg.
"I have always believed that experiential education is the most beneficial way to learn, and my study abroad experience truly revolved around this idea," she explained. "From day one, we were not just reading about people and places in textbooks; we were traveling to such places and interacting with the people. I believe I have brought that idea back to Gettysburg with me."
Before she had to re-adjust to life at Gettysburg, however, Kylie was living through the challenges of experiencing a place completely different from home. Somtimes part of adapting to a new culture can mean sharing a little of your own. It's not an uncommon sight to see students going for a run on campus or on the battlefields, but as Kylie relates, that was not the case in Samoa.
“Exercising just for the sake of exercising is not a common practice in Samoa, to say the least. One morning my friend and I decided to go on a run, and as we left the campus, I noticed that everyone we passed looked very confused. Many looked frantically past us, searching for what we were running from. Was it an animal, a growling dog perhaps? A small group even started running with us! This lasted for part of the week until eventually our routine mostly just received a lot of eye rolling, and we were considered weird running palagis (foreigners).”
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