¡Hola! ¡Buenas! This was the friendly greeting that Tiffany Grossi received every morning she walked down the streets of Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Although she was new in town, Tiffany always felt welcomed by the residents of Alcalá. Many times she was approached by native speakers who immediately struck up friendly conversations with her. Known as the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, Alcalá de Henares is a small, medieval town with aging architecture and narrow streets. For four weeks, Tiffany called this home and she spent most of her time enjoying her two classes, Spanish Art History and Spain’s Relations with Latin America. Her Spanish greatly improved thanks to these two classes along with several out-of-the-classroom experiences such as signing a phone contract and explaining a luggage situation at the airport. When she wasn’t studying, Tiffany explored her local community and other Spanish sites such as the enchanted city of Cuenca, the aqueduct of Segovia, and Philip II’s El Escorial. In Madrid, she had the opportunity to witness several political protests that occupied the city. From this, she was able to learn about the high unemployment rate in Spain and the emotions of the protesters. All things considered, Tiffany would like to thank everyone in the Vira Heinz family for granting her this amazing opportunity. This program has enabled her to experience many firsts such as taking her first overseas trip, flying on a plane, traveling by train and metro, and experiencing her first airport pat down. She now feels more independent, tenacious, and globalized. This trip has sparked her interest in traveling the globe and learning about other cultures. She can’t wait for her next adventure!
CEE Title: Embody the Rhythm
For her CEE, Tiffany helped to create Embody the Rhythm, a cultural dance event which highlighted their individual international experiences. In each journey, they experienced passion – for a culture, for a country, for a people. The team shared this passion with an audience of over one hundred people in the O’Hara Ballroom at Pitt Oakland. The audience enjoyed a delicious spread of appetizers catered by Sodexo Food Service followed by twenty-one short cultural performances representing countries as diverse as China, Greece and the Ukraine.