Loper, Samantha

E-mail: sloper@nd.edu

Language: Spanish

Location of Study: Antigua, Guatemala

Program of Study: Máximo Nivel

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

Blog URL: http://sites.nd.edu/sla2018/author/sloper/


A brief personal bio:

My name is Samantha Loper, and I am a rising junior from Huntsville, Alabama majoring in Psychology and Spanish. After college, I hope to go to grad school and become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I want to learn Spanish because I love the language and its broad application in the United States and the rest of the world. Since I haven’t been out of the United States since I was a baby, I am beyond thrilled to be given this opportunity to study Spanish in Guatemala!

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

The opportunity to study abroad and be immersed in Spanish is crucial to my language development. Being in a context where Spanish is spoken all the time will help me learn new words quickly, and I will become more confident in my ability to synthesize and understand Spanish. It will also help me next spring, when I will be studying abroad in Puebla, Mexico. I believe the ability to speak Spanish fluently is an incredibly important skill that can be applied to nearly every field of work. It will help me communicate with more people, both in the United States and around the world, and it will allow me to connect more with my Mexican heritage.

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

Through this summer study abroad experience, I hope to greatly improve my ability to effectively synthesize Spanish, as well as my ability to understand fluently spoken Spanish. I want to broaden my vocabulary, and be more comfortable with complex grammatical concepts and less commonly used verb conjugations. I also would like to feel more confident when I am communicating in Spanish, whether it be in a casual conversation or a classroom setting. Outside of learning the language, I want to fully experience Guatemalan culture and gain a different perspective on the things that I have learned at Notre Dame. Lastly, I want to learn about international travel in general, and learn about how to safely live abroad while still experiencing the country to the fullest.

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

1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to speak, read, write, and listen at a level of proficiency equal to two semesters beyond my current Spanish coursework placement at Notre Dame.

2. By the end of the summer, I will be much more confident in my ability to communicate effectively with people of different cultures who speak different languages.

3. By the end of the summer, I will have a greater understanding of Guatemalan culture, traditions, and values.