Problem Solving Abroad

Ruqaiyyah Lucas-Caldwell, CAS '24

2020 CFAS Summer Institute for Pre-First Year Students Alumna

By Ruqaiyyah Lucas-Caldwell, CAS '24

GRIP: World Medical Association

Since coming back home, I’ve received several questions about my summer—about what I did in France, my favorite parts and what I learned. Every time I recount my experiences, I always have a smile on my face because I am so excited to talk about my time abroad!

While abroad a skill that I really improved on was my problem solving. At school with any minute issue I would call my mom, mostly to hear her opinion on the situation even though in the back of my head I knew what I had to do. While I was in France, however, 10am CEST would mean that I would not be able to reach her which forced me to lean into my discomfort and figure it out. For example, due to the protests in response to the fatal shooting of Nahel Merzouk the border between Switzerland and France shut down early because there was a 9pm curfew in France. I was unaware of this curfew and was in Switzerland past 9pm. I had to figure out a way to get back to my apartment so that I could be back at work the next day. I took the bus to the last stop between Geneva and Ferney-Voltaire and walked to the border. Because Ubers did not work I had to call a cab in the little French I knew in order to return to Ferney-Voltaire. While this may seem like a small decision, it was one of several problems I solved all on my own which I was very proud of.