Student Blogger Study USA

That’s a Wrap! Final Reflections from Savannah

I think I can speak on behalf of most students when I say that this was one of the most challenging, inspiring, growing, and transformational semesters we will experience in our college career. I want to take this moment and give sincere and deep gratitude to Marcus Young, our amazing Art for Social Change teacher, mentor, and friend. I also want to thank all of the behind the scenes HECUA staff who put in so much work to make these programs happen for students. I also want to thank all of the community artists and guests that came into our space to teach us something we normally would not have learned if we did not share space and build community throughout this program. Finally, I want to thank all of my fellow students in the program who helped shape me as a person and an artist. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Words Engage the Body – Somatic Therapy with Thea Lee

Most Tuesdays, our classes meet at Clouds in the Water Zen Meditation Center in St Paul. We gather in their meditation space and use cushions in replacement as chairs. We sit in a circle so we all feel like we have equal opportunity to learn and participate. We also start off every single class with a mindfulness meditation. Sometimes they are just about a minute or two of silence, or sometimes they are about a ten-minute meditation that Marcus leads us through with his words and his calm soothing-sounding bell. This is a good practice to productively do nothing and be centered versus unproductively doing nothing and just sitting on your phone. While this tool does not always work for everyone, I appreciate that we are given an opportunity to be gentle with our minds and our bodies in an educational setting. This was a perfect transition into meeting our guest visitor for the day, Thea Lee. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study Abroad

Decolonizing Education: Indigenous Communities in Ecuador

A very important part of Kichwa culture in Ecuador is the idea of Sumak Kawsay, which is Kichwa for live well, and equates life to the nature. During our stay in Cotacachi and Otavalo, I have realized that I need to work hard to decolonize and re-order the hierarchy in my mind to better serve the earth and communities around the world. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

HECUA Classrooms and the Art of Hosting

“Teach because that is going to make you a better learner. Learn because that is going to make you a better teacher,” Eric said. It takes creative practice to work in any field just as much as it does to simply live your everyday life. “Always have a creative practice no matter what you do,” were Marcus’s final words. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study Abroad

Field Visit to the Manglares

Over the course of our program in Ecuador, there are three included field visits. The first one was to Yasuní National Park, which is part of the Amazon Rainforest, about twelve hours from Quito. The second, which we just had this past week, was to Manabí, a coastal region about six hours away from Quito. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study Abroad

First Impressions of Ecuador

After talking to my professors and finding out that the classes would count towards both my Spanish and Sociology majors, I decided to go for it. After I did a quick google search on Ecuador and found out that it had mountains, rainforests, and beaches, I was sold. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study USA

Re-Performing Famous Works: Art for Social Change

The best way to learn about famous art is by recreating it yourself. That is exactly what my HECUA Art for Social Change classmates and I did on two recent Thursdays. Our class visited the Weisman Art Museum to workshop and perform different art performances created by incredibly well-known artists around the world. Read More »

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Student Blogger Study Abroad

Finding Resilience Within a Rainbow: Conner in Northern Ireland

Conner Suddick is a senior at Hamline University majoring in Legal Studies and Social Justice. He participated in HECUA’s Democracy and Social Change Program in Northern Ireland in the spring of 2018, and was generous enough to share this reflection with us of his time as an intern at the Foyle LGBTQ+ Centre in Derry/Londonderry, […] Read More »

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