Agnes Scott College Travel Diaries

Tucked away in the heart of Decatur, Agnes Scott College seems far removed from the rest of the world.

Even though the fewer than 1,000 young women who go to school at Agnes Scott come from all ethnic backgrounds, many of them had never been out of the country until now.
Gayatri Sethi is the force behind an innovative new program at the school. Beginning this year, as part of their curriculum, every first year student will spend one week in another country.

This month, 250 girls and chaperones traveled to a dozen countries for hands on learning.

Yasmine Green and Theresa Melo were among the group making the trip to Nicaragua.

The girls jumped into the local culture, from taking part in a women's day parade to living with host families and taking part in service projects like building a library at a rural school.

Nicolette Paglioni didn't travel far, just north into Canada. But she says she gained miles in experience.

Perhaps one of the most profound and timely journies may have been Millika Balakrishnan's. The political science major was in Cuba at the same time as President Obama visited the island nation, the first U.S. president to visit in nearly 90 years.

She says one of her most memorable moments came when she visited the museum of the revolution and saw the bullet holes in the walls that Fidel Castro fired into Batista's palace.

The program is part of the Agnes Scott students' tuition. The school hopes to continue the program next year.