Author Archive: stintedu1

A Semester in Mexico: Karlee Wegehaupt

Name: Karlee Wegehaupt

Major: Spanish and Communication

Year in School: Senior

Program: Mérida, Mexico Fall 2015

 

UADY central campus

UADY central campus

My name is Karlee, I am a senior and both a Spanish and a Communication major. This fall semester I am in Mérida, Mexico as an exchange student. I am taking anthropology classes here at UADY (Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán) for Spanish credit back at GB.

Why did you choose to study abroad?

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

I chose to study abroad because I am serious about learning Spanish, and I know that the best way to improve is to be surrounded by it and forced to use it all the time. Also I knew that traveling through the school is a great opportunity, and the first step for traveling throughout the rest of my life. I chose Mérida because there are only a few countries offered as an exchange program for a semester of Spanish. Out of all the programs, I liked what I read about Mérida and the Yucatán peninsula the most.

What is the best part about studying abroad? Favorite experience?

The best part about studying abroad so far is not what I expected it to be. One part is having been able to see many of the beautiful sites in the Yucatán and meeting some fun and interesting people. The other part is that it has changed my perspective and idea of how I want to spend the rest of my life (traveling more!), and has given me a lot of confidence to solve problems on the fly. Mérida is VERY different from anywhere else I have been. In both ways that seems good and bad, but overall I really like it here and this has been a great experience so far. In fact, if I wasn’t already a senior, I would have liked to stay in Mérida for another whole semester.’

Murals in Isla Holbox

Murals in Isla Holbox

What did you struggle with? How did you overcome it?

The biggest struggles I’ve had were at the beginning of my journey when I realized how big of a language barrier there was between me and everyone else, how different everyday life would be from what I was used to, and having to tell my “host mom” that I was moving out of her house. Also, I was unable to make my flight into Mérida and instead had to take a bus there from Cancun—only

Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil

managing this through very broken Spanish while not really understanding anyone around me. I had no idea where exactly I was going, how long it would take, and even if anyone would be there to pick me up once I got to wherever I was going. That was an adventure! I have honestly had a LOT of struggles here (and I certainly have some good stories about them), but I think that is also something I have learned: that if you have a good attitude, you can take on almost anything.

What advice would you have for those who want to study abroad?

I would advise anyone and everyone to study abroad; especially if you want to but think that you can’t. Even if just for a month-long program and not necessarily a semester. If you find a way to make it happen you definitely won’t regret it.

A Summer in Spain: Sarah Alexander

Name: Sarah Alexander

Major: Communications

Year in school: Senior

Program: Alicante, Spain Summer 2014

Why did you choose to study abroad?

Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that offers so many different challenges that will give me experiences that I can use to my advantage in the future.

Why did you choose to go where you did?

I have always had a love of the Spanish culture and language. Also, I have family in Denmark, and going to Europe gave me an opportunity to see them again.

What’s the best part about studying abroad? Favorite experience?

Well, my favorite experience was finding this amazing Tapas restaurant in Madrid called “El Tigre.” It was the funniest, most challenging experience, with a lot of laughter and adventure. We had to walk through the Puerta del Sol and saw some interesting night life. Also, meeting up with friends and going to the beach every day after the siesta was always fun. THERE ARE SO MANY! Lastly, trying all of the amazing food and learning how to use public transportation.

What did you struggle with? How did you overcome it?

I really struggled with communicating with my host mom because I didn’t have the best Spanish skills, and my mom didn’t speak much English. We had a tough day or two but by working together, we connected, and she really helped me clean up my Spanish.

 

What advice would you have for those who want to study abroad?

MAKE AN EFFORT TO GET TO KNOW YOUR FAMILY! My host family encouraged me to take advantage of the opportunities available, and they were willing to work with me. I owe that to communicating my wants and needs so my host mom could be there for me. Also, walk around the city you live in when it is safe. I got lost alone my first night, and it never happened again because I took the time to get to know my city.

How did studying abroad personally help you?

It taught me to ask for help, and that it is okay to be alone! Also, I learned that there is so much out there in the world that we are missing, and how important it is to spread this information to others.

What are the differences between your home country and the country you studied in?

Meals are a big difference, especially breakfast. In the United States, my family loves big brunches, followed by little lunches and late dinners. In Spain breakfast is a starch, like bread with tomato or a croissant, with milk, coffee, or tea. Lunch is a huge, grand meal where the whole family meets, and then dinner was at 9pm or 10pm. Generally, dinner would be by myself because everyone got hungry at different times. It was hard to adjust during the first week, but in Spain with the heat, the siestas, and the nightlife the meals made more sense.

From Puerto Rico to Green Bay: Adriana Lebrón

Name: Adriana E. Lebrón

Major: English

Year in School: Senior

Program: Went from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez campus to the University Of Wisconsin Green Bay campus

¡Hola! ¡Saludos desde Puerto Rico! Greetings from Puerto Rico!

I picked UWGB as my exchange program university, and it was the BEST. DECISION. EVER.

Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you choose where to go?

I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, learn to live alone, and have new experiences. As soon as I decided to do an exchange program, I started looking for my best options and UWGB was always one of the first spots. I looked for the programs, curriculums, dorm, dorm life, lifestyle, and how safe the city was. I picked GB because it was always on the first spot. It also helped that the campus is beautiful, they have the Packers (I saw my first football game there), and overall, the city had a city feel with small town comfort.

Besides those options, I picked UWGB for multiple reasons. First, because they had all of the classes that I needed for my major. Second, because it was a good school, safe and the campus was beautiful. Third, the weather was totally different. I live in a tropical island, thus the heat is not as appealing as experiencing snow for the first time. When the cold came in, I was prepared and ready for it. I loved the cold, the snow and the weird wind. Lastly, I picked it because it was far from Puerto Rico. I did not want to get cold feet, have my family visit me every month, and experience the same things I can at home. I wanted to be free to decide everything, learn to live with roommates, develop cooking, cleaning, and social skills, and overall, meet totally different people; which I did. It may sound hard at first, but it was necessary for me to grow as a person and experience life outside my house and comfort zone.

What was the best part about study abroad? Favorite experience?

I had so many great experiences. I loved meeting so many great international students and learned so much from them! Everything was new, from recipes, to words and even actions. Every moment I spent with them is valuable to me; it was never boring. Something was always cooking, or a plan was hatching: we definitely did not get bored much.

What did you struggle with? How did you overcome it?

Not everything is positive though. I struggled with the roommate thing. I live at home with my parents and brother, so I don’t have to cook or clean that much. It was a learning experience having to live with another three girls, but I managed. I improved my cooking skills and developed cleaning habits and patience.

 

What advice would you have for those who want to study abroad?

Making sushi for the first time!

 

My honest advice to you is: Do it. Don’t overthink it! If you can do it, do it! You will NEVER regret it! I am so grateful for my time at GB. I learned a lot of things about myself! I learned I love spending time surrounded by people, I can easily feed a small army, and I can survive alone (I thought I would chicken out). Through my friends, I realized I would love to travel the world and I am not afraid of the thought anymore. Because of this, I made a Europe trip with my university and I am ready for whatever trip comes next—hopefully Mexico to visit some friends.

Studying at Green Bay has been the best decision I’ve made. The weather changes were great, the people, the ambience; everything was totally different to what I grew up in. I am grateful to the people I met, the experiences I had, and for the memories I created throughout the semester. If I could do it again, I wouldn’t hesitate to!

Color Run 2014

Color Run 2014