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IES: Buenos Aires, Advanced Spanish Immersion
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Alyson Ellison

Liberal Arts Major(s): Psychology, Spanish
Minor: Portuguese
Hometown: Easton, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The personal growth I noticed at the end of the program was the best part of my experience; immersing myself in a different culture allowed me to grow and become more independent. For instance, when I first arrived in Buenos Aires, I became lost frequently in the large city and often struggled to communicate, despite my several years studying Spanish. However, by the the end of the program, I noticed a change in the way I handled frustration, and I was proud of how much I had adapted to the new setting, despite all of the challenges it inspired.

Immersing myself in a different culture allowed me to grow and become more independent

How did this experience impact you academically?

One of my majors is Spanish, so this was a valuable opportunity to improve my communication skills in the language. Most of my courses were conducted in Spanish, and I had to use the language constantly, even when I wasn’t in class; I ordered food, navigated the city, and communicated with my host family entirely in Spanish, so I was able to improve my understanding in several non-academic settings.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

I participated in a service learning project that gave me experience working with people of different backgrounds and communicating with them in a different language. After graduation, I would like to be more competent working in Spanish if the need arises, so this interaction was valuable in improving my ability to do so.

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