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2022 Learning Abroad Conference

Co-sponsored by the Office for Education Abroad and the Office for International Students and Scholars, the annual MSU Learning Abroad Conference (LAC) features presentations from students returned from international learning experiences and international students currently studying abroad here in East Lansing.

The 2022 conference will consist of presentations where students will discuss how their education abroad experiences address issues related to this year’s theme, Growing through Challenge: Learning Abroad in a Time of Change.

Friday, March 18, 2022
International Center
Room 303 (3rd Floor)

PANEL 1 - 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Medicine in Central America (Guatemala)

After studying abroad in Brazil as an undergraduate student, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go abroad again as a medical student. I spent one week in Guatemala working alongside doctors and other medical students to provide free healthcare to a community in the mountains. Through my interactions with patients, I learned about their perspectives on healthcare, cultural norms, and commonly used alternative treatments. I was inspired by the resilience and close-knit nature of the community during my time in Guatemala.

  • Lina Erlingis (USA)

Learning Together as International Students in a Time of Great Challenge: A Video Project Across Time Zones and Countries (USA)

Our presentation describes how a team of six students from different countries worked together with two professors to produce three videos that identify and surface the challenges we and other international, multilingual students face in studying here at MSU, in order to heighten faculty awareness and create a more welcoming culturally-responsive environment.  Designed both to show these struggles and to propose solutions, the videos are designed for use in faculty workshops and the website. This presentation highlights what we ourselves as students learned through this process of intentionally reflecting on our challenges as international students.

  • Panathip Chimrak (Thailand)
  • Apichaya Thaneerat (Thailand)
  • Huang Juhua (China)
  • Nadiah Mohamed Hasnol (Malaysia)

PANEL 2 - 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Shouldering a nation: Representing my country while being a minority citizen (USA)

Delilah Pacheco is a Fulbright scholar and a Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) for Hindi 2021-22 at Michigan State University. Delilah hails from a multilingual India, one that speaks two official languages, 22 regional languages, and houses myriad cultures. Her early months in the United States were spent navigating the idea of how she could be the "ideal" ambassador for her country. Delilah’s presentation focuses on 21st century youth leaders and the role of forging an identity that is a healthy balance between diplomatic accountability and still being yourself.

  • Delilah Pacheco (India)

Learning that goes beyond language: My story of becoming a foreigner (France)

When I went abroad, it shaped my perspective in a way that I will never forget. I learned from the perspective of a foreign exchange student, which meant being unable to communicate the way I wanted and have a prominent accent when I spoke. In this presentation, I will show how this experience affected my self-image, my mental health, and my career as a scientist.

  • Hannah Jeffery (USA)

Cultivating Curriculum and Connections: Part 1 (Costa Rica)

In Summer of 2020, Casey enrolled in a course on “Global, Virtual Community Engagement” in hopes to combat a feeling of isolation and lack of direction during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Little did she know, this decision would lead to longstanding partnerships and a larger student-initiated research project. This presentation outlines the unique story of how Casey and her collaborators connected and maintained their partnership, leading to the current “Part 1” of a project to create an experiential learning curriculum on environmental topics for youth in Costa Rica.

  • Casey Christy (USA)