Morinade (Jayla) Stevenson

Morinade (Jayla) Stevenson
Student Ambassador , Wellesley College
School:Wellesley College
CYA Term:Fall 2017
Anticipated Graduation Month/Year:2019

Based on your experience with CYA, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester or summer abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?

Studying abroad is a unique experience. It allowed me to envision myself as a global citizen having these experiences rather than just a citizen of the U.S. I learned so much about the culture and living in a home-stay allowed me to experience it first-hand. Greeks were so welcoming and this is something I plan to take home with me. Academically and professionally it allowed me to envision a career in policy whether locally or internationally. I also faced some of my biggest fears while here and have really transformed personally. Being able to travel to other parts of Europe allowed me to see my connection to others and to place my action in a web of causal chains within the world. Essentially, being here has transformed my consciousness. I've met amazing people who I plan to stay connected to and I now have a second home forever. After this experience, I believe its necessary for others to travel internationally and experience the rest of the world. Being here and taking classes about politics has also shown me that this isn't possible for everyone and has driven me to think radically about the world.

What advice do you have for prospective students who are interested in or planning to study abroad with CYA? What do you wish you knew before starting your study abroad experience?

My advice is to go in with no expectations and let the flow take you wherever it goes. Going in with expectations can lead to disappointment and your experience can be everything and more if you allow it.

How was the political climate in Greece different from what are you used to? If applicable, describe a time when you had to navigate a political conversation during your time abroad.

It is extremely different with Trump. Navigating conversations can be as well and it essentially involves taking the time to explain it to someone who may have no idea. The key is patience.

What would you be willing to share about your CYA experience with other students:

  • Student of color
  • Finances while abroad
  • Mental health while abroad

What extracurricular activities were you involved with in Greece?

I volunteered at Welcommon teaching English to an immigrant.

Briefly describe a cultural experience you had that was significant to you in any way.

One experience I had was going to a taverna with my class. It is significant because there was live music and I got up and danced with Greeks. They readily accepted me into their circle and quickly taught me the dance moves. After that it was amazing.

Favorite food in Greece?

My favorite food is chicken gyros.

Favorite class you took at CYA?

Modern Athens: Space, Art and Urban Cultures with Hypatia V!