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Scholar Highlights For Week Ending June 7, 2013

September 5, 2013


Charmiah in the lab-Germany


  I am observing that there is not much difference in the way science is carried out in   Europe versus in America. The scientific method is still the same with research. There is  still a lot of repetition and improvising involved in research.  The most challenging  issue I am having so far with research is documenting what I do and understanding  WHY each procedure is being done and how it  fits into the grand scheme of the  project. After speaking with my Spelman mentor I am beginning to take some efforts  that will help me organize my work. 


Kevona on cross


For someone that is terrified of flying there was a large part of me that was absolutely not ready to embark on my journey to Spain. I wanted to stay in the comfortable confines of my home in Chicago, where I knew everyone and I always remained on the ground. I had to constantly remind myself of the wonderful opportunity placed in front of me and that I need to cherish and relish this moment. Out aside all my fear and anxiety and realize that this the start of something beautiful
and valuable.


J Colvin 2


After unpacking Saturday, I had the best time of my life in Salamanca! They (my mentor and his wife) took me grocery shopping and then to the center of the city, La Plaza Mayor! It is the main tourist attraction in Salamanca and absolutely stunning! All of the historic sites we visited were simply beautiful and the traditions were fun. At two different buildings it was tradition to find the astronaut and the frog located within a plethora of different sculptures!


From an economical perspective, Australia is very expensive! For example, I bought a Vitamin Water which is usually USD$2.00. When the till rang, I ended up paying AUD$4.30, and the U.S. dollar is stronger!! Almost everything is twice as expensive. Now what Australians have told me is that they get paid a lot more than Americans, which may be true, but their prices are still very outrageous.  One friend told me that minimum wage for someone working at McDonald’s is AUD$20.00/hour. Yes, I guess they can afford those prices.


Brittany (2)


This is my first week here in Spain and I absolutely love it.  Since I have been learning Spanish all of my life I felt I should have been placed higher than this [beginner intermediate] but I accepted it.  One of my roommates did not speak any English. My other two roommates do not speak much English either so I try to speak to them in Spanish so that I can practice.  Also there is one roommate that I have yet to meet. This will be very interesting!


Before my arrival in Spain I tried to cleanse my mind of all preconceived notions of the country and traveling abroad. Having traveled to Ecuador the previous summer, I was nervous about the difficulties that come along with abroad experiences. Even more so, I was anxious about the new possibilities Spain would have to offer.  Traveling to Europe has been a completely different than my journey in Central America.  From the very moment I met my host-mother she began taking care of me, insisting to carry one of my bags. I soon learned that my housing experience in Spain would be better than I could have ever imagined. I knew before arriving that I wanted to stay in a home-stay in order to completely immerse myself in Spanish culture but I had no idea how luxurious my stay in Córdoba would actually be.


My first week in Madrid has been amazing. I arrived in Madrid on Saturday morning and was met Albryona and Gabrielleby my amazing mentor. He drove me to my house where I met my very interesting landlady and her family. There was immediately a language barrier since my land lady does not speak any English and I only understand a medium amount of Spanish. Eventually we got on the same page and everything seems okay. We went out for a typical Madrid lunch. He told me about various things that differ between Madrid and the United States.


I have recently completed my first week in Granada, Spain and I am loving it!  It didn’t take long to realize some cultural difference between Spain and the United States.  In Spain, people start their days much later resulting in late eating times. An average day in Spain begins around 10. Breakfast is usually served around 10:30, lunch around 2:30, and dinner around 8:30 or nine. Small meals called Tapas are eaten in between.  It has been hard to adjust to these times and I often find myself feeling quite hungry during my lab work. The breakfasts here are also very small. Instead of a relatively heavy breakfast like I eat in the United States, I find myself eating a small breakfast such as a croissant and orange juice. I was surprised to find out that waffles and pancakes are eaten here as desserts not breakfast foods!


I had expected the Spanish to start when I landed in Spain, but I was taken by surprise when all of the airplane instructions and flight attendants only spoke Spanish.  I had been practicing my Spanish with some of the Hispanic people near where I lived, but I never realized how slowly they would purposefully speak so that I would understand.  This initial shock did not last long because I knew that the not understanding would get worst once I landed. 


Marlissa (2)


My week in Cordoba, Spain has been such an adventure. In just this week, I have seen and experienced so many amazing things that I would not have encountered in America.  Based off of this week, I am looking forward to many life changing lessons, challenges and experiences with my host family, the G-STEM scholars and University of Cordoba.  I have met some of the most amazing people in Cordoba. Where should I start?


Second day in Joburg (Johannesburg nickname I learned from my South African roommate) was a full day, starting with breakfast at 7am then field trip to the National Institute of Communicable Disease (NCID), Apartheid museum, and mall. We recognized the benefits of having a doctor on our trip for the next four days when he took us to NCID and had his colleague give a lecture on tuberculosis.

Gabrielle, Alybryona and Jasmeka copy

Albryona, Gabrielle, Jasmeka

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