Episode 10 │We Still Partying! (PANAMA/TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
Updated: May 4
"Every day's a celebration. One of my professors was like, 'Oh yeah, if you get fired, we still partying! If you get a job, we still partying!' It was cool to see how people were just lax, working, having fun and enjoying life, and I don't think people really do that in America as much." (Alieshia, Episode 10)
Alieshia Nunnally is the first guest on the podcast whom I didn't already know prior to our interview. Morgan Eliz (my childhood friend and the one who designed Young, Gifted and Abroad's logo) posted on her Instagram page about the podcast after it launched, and Alieshia saw that post and reached out to me eager to talk about her travels. So thanks for sharing, Morgan! And thanks to Alieshia for reaching out!
An alum of the University of Louisville, Alieshia was no stranger to travel before studying abroad. She was used to moving around a lot within the States due to her dad being in the military. Internationally, she went to South Korea to visit her dad while she was in middle school, and in high school she went to Paris along with her school's French club. Despite being well-traveled at a young age, she hadn't heard of the concept of studying abroad until she got to college. She studied Communications and Pan-African Studies while at UofL, and while taking Spanish classes as part of her Communications degree, she heard about a program in which she could study the language and Panamanian culture in Panama. She signed up and spent 3 1/2 weeks there during the summer before her junior year. She wasn't able to improve her Spanish proficiency as much as she would've liked before going to Panama, and though she was there to study the language, she still felt limited in her ability to meet and talk to new people. To a certain extent she felt she missed out on being able to familiarize herself with the place and its culture because of this, so she definitely recommends learning Spanish in order to make the most of one's experience in Panama.
No matter what happened, people could still find a reason to party!
She went abroad again in the summer before senior year, this time to Trinidad and Tobago as part of her Pan-African studies minor. This program was smaller and more individualized; students learned about T&T's history and culture as a group, but they each also had their own research topic to focus on. Alieshia's topic was the activities of the Black Panther Party in Trinidad (how cool is that!). She enjoyed Trinidad and Tobago much more than Panama for various reasons, two of which being the absence of a language barrier and the refreshingly new experience of being part of the majority among tons of other Black people. But one thing she noticed about both locales is that people value celebrating life and having fun on a daily basis in a way that Americans usually do not. No matter what happened, people could still find a reason to party!
After finishing up her internship at Maryville University in St. Louis this summer, Alieshia will be returning to graduate school at Western Kentucky University, where she's working toward a Master's degree in student affairs in higher education. In addition to publishing poetry, children's books, and YA novels, she aspires to take students abroad so that they can have their own international experiences like she did. She plans to start by working for WKU Study Away. This episode is being released on August 21st, also Alieshia's birthday, during which she will be enjoying a birthday trip to Jamaica!
You can check out Alieshia's podcast Millennial Thoughts on various listening outlets (Millennial Thoughts), Twitter (@millennialthpod), Instagram (@millennialthoughtspod), and Facebook (MillennialThoughts). Or you can check out her personal profiles on Instagram (@lieshiaslifestyle / @alieshiasadventures), Twitter (@lieshiaboo), and Facebook (Alieshia Nunnally).
Be sure to listen to this episode, "We Still Partying (PANAMA/TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)" for more! And don't forget to check out the resource list below!
UofL Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Programs 2018-19 (including Trinidad and Tobago)
Danielle G. is the creator, host, and producer of Young, Gifted and Abroad. You can find her other writings at DeelaSees.com.