Central and South America
Colleen Fitzgerald ’14, Buenos Aires, Argentina — Fall 2012 — I always knew I wanted to study abroad. I selected Buenos Aires to improve my language skills, explore a lively dance culture, and live in a large city. My Spanish skills improved immensely, mostly through conversations with the many Argentines and my classes. I also learned to tango and took dance courses. Being in a large city was one of the best parts of the experience. There was never a boring moment, unless I didn’t actively seek out something to do. Independence is very important to me, so I selected a program that required only one program class with the rest of my classes at universities. I planned most of my travel independently, but still had the support of the program whenever I needed it. I was able to really immerse myself into a culture, not as a tourist, but as a resident and student. Surprisingly, I also learned a lot about America and American politics being away from the U.S. Most importantly, I learned a lot about myself and I now have a better idea of what I want to do after graduation. It was a great experience that I would do 10 times over.
Josalynne Cottery ’12, Santiago, Chile – Fall 2010 — I spent my semester abroad in Santiago, Chile. I knew I wanted to study Spanish in South America and chose Chile because a program there focused on education. During the semester, I was able to travel throughout Chile (Valparaíso, Temuco, and San Alfonso del Mar) and to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am extremely happy with my decision. During my time away, I got to celebrate Chile’s bicentennial and the rescue of the trapped miners. I was the only student of color in my program in a not so diverse country, so I stood out. There were many days when people would stop me on the streets to figure out my nationality, ask me about my hair, and even to tell me that my skin was a sign of good luck! All of this made me more culturally aware and made me gain a greater appreciation for my Southern and American ties. In the midst of all this, I also gained a sense of pride for Chile – it is definitely my second home. My semester abroad was an unforgettable experience. It taught me to be independent and have confidence in myself. I truly believe everyone should take advantage of the study abroad opportunities that Bates has to offer.