|Field notes: students report on summer research|
September 16, 2003
Every summer many SFSU students travel across the globe to experience different cultures and lifestyles, further their studies and perform community service. Here are the stories of three students who spent their summers far from campus:
Destination: El Salvador
Caitlin Collentine, a senior art major, traveled to El Salvador as part of a community service learning class. She taught art and made connections with local artists in Colima.
"In San Salvador, where we began our monthlong trip to this Central American country, I was confused by the sights I saw there," she writes. "When I went to Europe -- Italy and Spain -- I felt I was finally seeing things I’d been learning about my whole life. But in El Salvador, I had no context with which to ingest all I was seeing. Trash filled the gutters and covered the sidewalks. The air was thick with exhaust. There were people selling cheap trinkets and bags of fruit on the sides of streets. I eventually discovered, though, that despite all this, El Salvador manages to be utterly beautiful."
Read Collentine's full report on El Salvador.
Erin Rohde, a senior biology major, spent the summer working in a research lab at Harvard Medical School.
"Before coming to Harvard Medical School, I of course formed my own stereotypes," she writes. "I had the impression that people there would be extremely smart, uptight, and look down their noses at me. However, never have I met such an intelligent group of nice, polite, generous, hardworking, understanding, accomplished, and dedicated scientists and doctors. I did not expect the atmosphere at an Ivy League institution to be as warm as it was. I was as surprised as I was pleased."
Read Rohde's full report on Harvard.
Destination: South Africa
Michele Jacques, a graduate student in public administration, traveled to South Africa to learn about living conditions and social welfare programs.
"Much of my time consisted of accompanying [housing project manager Isaac Tshetlo] to the homes of people applying for new housing," she writes. "Their homes were usually no more than shacks fashioned out of thin pieces of corrugated metal. I was taken to construction sites in various stages of development. I was impressed with how quickly the construction crew could erect a two-bedroom house -- about two -- weeks. I was introduced to the owner of a newly completed two-bedroom brick home and given the grand tour. To say that she was pleased with her new residence would be an understatement."
Read Jacques' full report on South Africa.
Find out more about SFSU summer study programs.
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