Cecilia Mabilais-Estevez

Psych 472H: Human Development, Health, & Education from a Global Perspective
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Cecilia Mabilais-Estevez

Paterno Fellow
Major: English & Economics
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts & Italian
Hometown: Devon, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience from a friend who had previously gone to India (she spoke during SHO TIME's study abroad panel).

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

We spent a month in India - we went to Delhi, Dahanu, Pune, and Jaipur. We started off in Delhi, where we collaborated on a project with students from SRCC. Then we worked with a school for children of tribal families in Dahanu, discovered the bustling and young city of Pune, and ended in Jaipur, where we met students from IIS University. Delhi was a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds, Dahanu was rural, quiet, and beautiful. While there we hiked, planted rice, and saw a part of India we had never heard of. Pune was vibrant, small, and very clean. Jaipur was bustling and beautiful.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I want to dedicate my life to social issues and seeing the amount of poverty in India has inspired me to look for ways that I can begin to contribute to the world as soon as I can.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I never thought I would want to study agriculture, but after this trip I really would love to work with small farmers abroad.

I want to write children's books that explain social issues very simply and can help children understand these issues in a way that will inspire them to help when they are older. I also want to write novels. This experience has impacted my career goals in that I have also been considering studying agriculture - the chaperones on the trip were all pursuing PhDs in agriculture and I was inspired by one of the chaperones to look into Rural Sociology and International Agriculture. I never thought I would want to study agriculture, but after this trip I really would love to work with small farmers abroad and study the most efficient ways to farm. I also would like to study the economies of cacao and coffee and the impact of these crops on both developing and developed nations.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

YES! India has opened my eyes in so many subtle ways. I think now is the time to travel to non-Western nations and discover the other half of the world before we are set in our ways.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program had a huge impact on my experience in that the enrichment funding provided by the Liberal Arts College and PFP helped me go to India. Without my enrichment funding, it would have been very difficult to justify leaving the country for a month instead of working. The enrichment funding helped me to not worry about paying the program fee. Paterno Fellows also hosts lunches where speakers come and talk about places abroad and listening to speakers talk about other nations inspired me to want to go and see these nations for myself.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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