After her first study abroad experience, Kennedy Chavan continued to search for her next adventure.
In the meantime, she worked for UC International as a working student, helping to process student applications for travel abroad. While working, she noticed that one program in particular — an experiment in Accra, Ghana through UCSD study abroad partner USAC — went unnoticed by her peers.
“It was always the thing I was most curious about—nobody had gone through it in years,” Kennedy Chavan noted. And I thought, ‘No one went on this trip. I need to go on this trip! “I needed [cultural] They change.”
The change was exactly what happened. She noted that one course in particular, which focused on local culture in Ghana, provided the best lesson in navigating unfamiliar places: “On one of our assignments, the professor gave us about 50 sirs – less than a dollar – and told us to meet at a specific place. If we did it on time, he would buy us lunch. He wanted us to use their tro-tros, which look like old European trucks that has been modified to suit a lot of people.”
Kennedy Chavan considered it to be the assignment that gave her an advantage over her fellow students, providing her with an inside perspective on her new language.
“Once I discovered tro-tros, I didn’t have to use taxis,” she explained. “Some of the students in the program who weren’t in class…were looking at us like we were crazy—asking us if it was dangerous—but I said, ‘No! It’s actually really quiet there, with good music. It’s a good time. “
Kennedy Chavan came back from the experience with more than just credits for African literature – she was ready to take on the world.