Maggie Kolbeck - Social Work in the Dominican Republic 2011
Growing up in a small town in Kansas, didn't always lead to a lot of adventures. When I made the decision to attend Pittsburg State University, a door was opened for me. I was given the opportunity to go find those adventures.
My freshman year I lived in the dorms where I was introduced to a whole floor full of different girls from various places. These girls were not only from all over the states, but the world as well. I became friends with a girl from Italy and several from Asia. Those relationships developed into lasting friendships. These friendships taught me about cultures other than my own. I was able to experience their cultures personally, by attending events at PSU, as well as traveling home with one of the girls to Italy.
Pitt State not only offers you the chance to meet some amazing people, it offers you the chance to experience other cultures first hand. PSU has several study abroad options for students. I decided to go on one of these trips to the Dominican Republic over spring break. It was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We volunteered at an orphanage, ate rice and beans every day, got insights into another culture, learned new words in Spanish, and had a meaningful experience.
PSU is very organized and helps you ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Although Pitt State does everything they can to help you get ready, nothing could prepare me for the impact that this trip would have on my life. It is hard to see the world beyond your own backyard until you go out and experience it for yourself.
Having the opportunity to travel abroad and see other cultures was an eye-opening experience for me. Spending just one week in the Dominican, gave me the confidence to go out and do more. I took the knowledge from my Pitt State education classes and life-experiences from my spring break trip and decided to teach English at an orphanage in India. The best part is that I know it doesn't stop here. Pittsburg State not only offers amazing study abroad opportunities for its students, but it also has trips available for its alumni as well. I will take the knowledge I gained from Pittsburg State and to go explore the world beyond my own backyard.