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Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Culture, Feature, International Education, Interviews, Scholarships, Study Abroad, Travel, Travel Profiles, Volunteer Abroad |

Rotary Scholars on Travel, International Exchange, and Service

Rotary Scholars on Travel, International Exchange, and Service

Rotary is an international service organization that has been sponsoring international exchanges since the 1940’s. The video above and the responses below are from Rotary scholars who are alumni of the Rotary High School Exchange (Shivaun and Ines), Ambassadorial Scholarship (Heather and Samantha), and Peace Fellowship (Chris). To learn more about Rotary and Rotary international exchanges, visit www.rotary.org. Why were you interested in studying in another country? Shivaun: Initially, when I signed up to be a youth ambassador with Rotary International, I didn’t know much about the rest of the World, but I knew I wanted to (part of me also didn’t want to be contained to my small Midwestern hometown anymore).  After being placed in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, for a year as a youth ambassador, I knew being interested in other cultures would always be an essential aspect of my life. Chris: It had been almost 10 years since my first experiences studying abroad as an undergraduate.  I was interested in having a graduate experience overseas, I...

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Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in Blog, Road Trip USA |

The Pittsburgh Threshold Choir

The Pittsburgh Threshold Choir

Good night, sweet prince, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! ~Shakespeare in Hamlet You cannot predict what will happen on the road. For example, I did not predict that I would end up in a hospice care unit in Pittsburgh singing tonight with the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir. Threshold Choirs began in the San Francisco Bay area by a woman named Kate Munger who sang by a dying friend’s bedside in 1990 and began to practice singing as a way to process grief around the dying. She founded the Threshold Choir in 2001 and now there are over 100 chapters around the country. Enter Cindy Harris, the woman who responded affirmatively to my CouchSurfing request. Tall with long silver hair tucked into a braid, Cindy regales me with stories of her music, the Green Party in Australia, and her volunteer work of singing to people who are on their death-bed as we drive 30 minutes to UPMC. We are joined by Sue Ann, a respiratory therapist...

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Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in Blog, Road Trip USA, Travel |

Single. Woman. Traveler.

Single. Woman. Traveler.

Drinking a coffee before hitting the road this morning was a mistake. Staying with complete strangers last night was not. I left Harrisburg, Pennsylvania yesterday and after 30 miles realized I won’t stop until I hit the Pacific Ocean. Then I am going to keep going. The emotion was a release, an intense moment of freedom and forward motion into the beautiful unknown. I haven’t felt this way since my Europe Backpacking trip 2006. Maybe ever. I am a single woman traveler. I haven’t always been. Once upon a time I told a close friend that I could never live outside the United States or travel by myself. If you had asked me if I would rely on complete strangers for a bed to sleep in or help along the way I would have replied, “Do you want to be one of those horrible statistics?” Then I realized that these fears were based on absolutely no real experience and therefore nothing. I decided to lean into fear instead of...

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