Location of Study: Cusco, Peru
Program of Study: Máximo Nivel Intensive Spanish Language Program
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, the College of Arts and Letters, and Kellogg Institute For International Studies
A brief personal bio:
Originally from Indianapolis, IN, I am a rising junior majoring in political science and Spanish, with a minor in the Hesburgh Program of Public Service. I spent my previous semester in D.C. through the Notre Dame Washington Program. On campus, I work in the Political Science Department and I am the sustainability commissioner for Farley Hall. I also volunteer at Indiana Legal Services and for a South Bend mayoral campaign. My hobbies include running and hiking, and I can’t wait to take advantage of Peru’s natural beauty.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
I am interested in pursuing a career in social work or immigration law, and learning Spanish is essential to either of these paths. As the number of Spanish-speaking residents in the US increases, being bilingual will widen the population I can serve as a professional. The SLA Grant has afforded me the opportunity to study Spanish beyond a traditional classroom setting—conversing with my host family, eating at Peruvian restaurants, and interacting with local classmates will push me to actively practice my speaking skills and learn experientially. Additionally, I will be studying abroad in Puebla, Mexico next spring, and my six weeks in Cusco will help prepare me for this longer endeavor. My Spanish classes this summer will provide me with the foundations necessary to take on a full course load next spring and succeed academically.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Having never traveled outside of the United States, I am incredibly excited to experience a new culture and live in a city where most residents do not speak my language. This will provide intellectual and personal challenges, and I will be pushed to use Spanish conversationally. I enjoy the rigor of my Spanish courses at Notre Dame, and I want to experience this rigor in an experiential setting to overcome the language plateau I am at. Additionally, I hope to expand upon my Spanish vocabulary and begin learning to discuss and write about a wider range of topics, such as religion, politics, and society. By moving beyond the intermediate level of Spanish I am at, I will be able to integrate my other academic interests—political science and public service—into discussions and readings in my future Spanish courses in Mexico and at Notre Dame.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to comfortably have a conversation with my host family, peers, or instructors about day-to-day events.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be knowledgeable about the city of Cusco and Peruvian culture, through speaking with my exchange partner and host family.
3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to switch between verb tenses with ease in a conversation.
4. At the end of the summer, I will have acquired grammar skills that put me ahead of the Spanish class level I am at right now.
5. At the end of the summer, I will be able to read short stories and news articles in Spanish without difficulty.