Chang, Jacob


Language: Spanish

Location of Study: Cusco, Peru

Program of Study: Maximo Nivel Intensive Spanish Language


Sponsors: Kellogg Institute for International Studies, College of Arts and Letters, Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures

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A brief personal bio:

My name is Jake Chang and I am a rising junior studying Sociology and Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics. I am originally from Honolulu, Hawaii and on campus I lived in Knott Hall. I have always been drawn to experiencing other cultures, traveling, and adventure. I am very excited for the opportunity to spend my summer exploring Peru and immersing myself into their culture and language.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

This grant is important to me because I will be spending the next year abroad (studying abroad in Santiago, Chile in the fall and Puebla, Mexico in the spring) and this summer experience will help me to hone my Spanish conversational skills as well as my writing and reading comprehension. This grant is also important to me because I plan on completing my senior thesis on a topic related to immigration at the US-Mexico border, where Spanish proficiency will likely be necessary. As far as my future career goals go, although I am not yet sure what I want to do, I think that being proficient in Spanish and being able to offer insight into a culture distinct from the United States’ will serve me well somewhere down the road.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:

By the end of time in Peru, I hope to have a strong understanding of Peruvian culture and history. I also want to leave Peru feeling confident in my conversational abilities. Becoming fluent in Spanish has been one of my largest missions upon coming to Notre Dame and I know that this summer experience is one of the most helpful steps that I can take toward achieving this goal. Specifically from the program I also want to become less self-conscious when speaking Spanish and to become more comfortable with taking risks and making mistakes because I think that is the best way for me to learn.

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

1. At the end of the summer, I want to be able to comfortably hold a conversation with someone in Spanish. Especially on topics more advanced than superficial greetings and questions.

2. By the end of this summer I hope to enter my fall study abroad program feeling well prepared for the academic rigor of classes entirely in Spanish.

3. By the end of the summer I hope to be able to watch movies and tv shows in Spanish (without English subtitles) with minimal difficulty.

4. By the end of the summer I want to have become friends with a variety of people in Peru (such as my host family, teachers, and classmates) and to remain in contact with them after I leave.

5. By the end of the summer I want to be able to prepare a variety of different traditional Peruvian meals.