Yazmin Bennett-Kelly

Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
Home Institution: 
Carlow University
Heinz Programming Area: 
Study Abroad Country: 
International Experience

As a Vira Heinz Scholarship recipient, Yazmin travelled to Accra, Ghana for one month. In Ghana, she completed the courses Twi, African Dance, and African Storyteller. She spent all four weeks completely immersing herself in the culture even outside of the classroom. She visited the W.E.B Dubois center, Kwame Nkruma museum, the Cape Coast slave dungeon, and many more culture centers, museums, and landmarks. In addition, she visited villages in regions outside of Accra such as the Volta and Kumasi region. Through this global experience Yazmin has gained knowledge on the biggest slave trade to take place, the transatlantic slave trade. She learned about the beauty in West Africa such as all of the natural resources and remedies for illnesses as well as the beautiful beaches and resorts. One of her top goals was to be able to carry a conversation in the local language which is Twi. She can now greet locals, ask where they are from, bargain prices and much more in the language. Living in the heart of Ghana, she enhanced her understanding of Ghanaian culture through interacting with locals on a daily basis. She stepped out of her initial comfort zone by taking advantage of the transportation system which consist of taxis and "trotros", she overcame her fear of heights by walking a canopy walk hundreds of feet in the air, and grew accustom to the culture differences in West Africa such as customer service experiences and the lack of personal space. Through culture immersion, Yazmin was able to make lifelong friends, create meaning in her identity as an African American, improve her language skills, and gain an understanding of Ghanaian life.

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