CAS '19 Raisa Shah

SA: CASA Sevilla
GRIP: Intern in India

Programs Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): Penn Semester in Seville: Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA), Spain

  • Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP): CASI Intern in India

Ask me about...

  • Getting out of the "study abroad bubble"

  • Staying within a tight budget while making the most of being abroad

  • Being a woman of color in a very homogeneous western country

  • Taking classes in a foreign language

  • Living in a home-stay

  • Full immersion experience

My Experience Abroad:

Studying Political Science with a concentration in International Relations, I truly believe that it is my responsibility to be a knowledgeable global citizen and immerse myself in other cultures. Interning in India and studying abroad in Spain gave me the opportunities to not only travel to new parts of the world and develop my foreign language skills but also learn about these other cultures in profound ways. I was able to pursue my interests of civic engagement and social justice while exploring intersectional identities during both of my experiences abroad. As a first-generation low-income student, an immigrant, an Asian American activist, and an avid feminist, these topics naturally appeal to me. In India, I worked directly with migrant workers in the garment industry and researched ways to mitigate their hardships in the workplace. In Spain, I conducted independent research projects regarding gender inequality in Spanish society and the current climate in Spain surrounding immigration and xenophobia. As a young activist in my community, I am incredibly thankful to have had these experiences that I can now bring back and apply to social justice work I do in the US.

Other Highlights:

  • Making local friends I'm still in touch with

  • Home-stay and having a host family

  • Traveling all over the country/continent in a very short period of time

  • Volunteering at an organization of survivors of gender-based violence

  • Everyone thinking I was Latina and being surprised at finding out I was South Asian


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