Dominican Republic Reflections - Teneeyah Hale

Reflections on the Dominican Republic

by Teneeyah Hale

My experience visiting the Dominican Republic will be something that I will never forget. This educational trip has impacted my life for the better because it has helped me academically and personally. Before attending this trip, I knew I wanted to continue my education in Higher Education after graduating with my bachelor's degree. This trip has not only enhanced my passion for the area, but it has also helped me understand the impact I could have on the lives of others. This education abroad to the Dominican Republic has taught me many things about the education system and how it differs from the United States. Even though it is a developing county, the education system in the Dominican Republic helps prepare students for their future. They are prepared for their lives after school whether those lives consists of attending college or joining the workforce. Students are given the opportunity to help better their lives despite the path they choose to take after graduating from high school. There are flaws throughout their education system when it comes to accessibility, socioeconomic status of students, and race, but that can be said for the United States as well. The reactions from the students, ranging from elementary to college, really had an impact on my experience because it helped me understand how much of an impact I could have. Just visiting their schools and listening to them brought joy and hope into their lives. It showed them that people from around the world are interested in understanding how their society works and are willing to listen.

Personally, this trip has impacted me by giving me the opportunity to experience new things and discover more things about myself. Throughout the duration of this trip, I was able to gain more confidence and knowledge about myself through the experience of a different culture and different opportunities. I was able to feel vulnerable enough to let new people and experiences while also feeling a sense of security from the people around me. I was able to build new relationships with people that come from similar and even completely different backgrounds. Despite the many different majors being studied on this trip, knowing that so many people are passionate about the same area helps fuel that fire to continue the fight. It helped me understand the in-depth meaning of building connections with people around you. These connections can help you personally and professionally at any moment in the future. After this trip, I can truly say that I know people who will be there for me when I call. The staff members on this trip and my fellow students have helped me understand the importance of being an active member of my community. The lessons and knowledge learned from this trip will always be with me for the rest of my life.