Spartan Showcase: Allysia White

Allysia White (far right) alongside instructors David Miller and Nicole Parker, and PhD candidate Shellie Vincent

Before starting classes at Case Western Reserve University’s Jack Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Allysia White had her sights set on a particular experience: study abroad.

“I love to travel so study abroad wasn’t a question of if I was going, it was more of a question about when and where,” she said. 

One program in particular piqued her interest: the “Social Justice/Social Work, International Learning through Community & NGO Internship,” which takes place inSouth Africa.

“I was praying that they were going to do this trip while I was a student. During that time, I didn’t know what it was about South Africa that intrigued me, but I knew that this was the trip that I was going to go on,” she said.

Now heading into her second year of the Master of Social Work program, White just came home from that very study abroad experience—describing it as “eye-opening” and “life-changing.”

White didn’t initially buy into the cliché that studying abroad would have such a drastic impact on her, as one of her instructors suggested on the first day of classes. But once she was immersed in it, she found that was exactly what happened.

“During and after the trip, I can agree that this experience did change my life,” White said. “I am a shy person but my classmates, professors, and all the people with whom I interacted in South Africa welcomed me with open arms. I was pushed out of my comfort zone and have grown in my confidence, perspective, and overall, as a person.”

Read more about White’s experience abroad and at the Mandel School