Author Archives: Ana-Sofia Alcaraz

Best Way to Plan Trips

When studying abroad there is a great chance to explore things within or outside of your host country. In my case since studying in Italy and my permit of stay, a legal paper that lets me stay in Italy due to my Visa. Housing gives me the opportunity to explore any country within the European Union (EU). Of course, I’ve taken some trips to enjoy myself and get more familiar with different cultures outside the United States. I will share the sort of process that I have found to be very helpful when traveling for a weekend or during a break. Continue reading

Managing Time

One of the toughest things to manage while abroad, and in general, is time. Wanting to do various trips, homework for classes, and any responsibilities back at home in a completely new time zone: these have been some of my toughest challenges here so far. Because most of my classes only meet once a week, I feel like I got much time. Also, due to my internship, I am working three times a week while also writing journals. When it comes down to it, time is a very valuable resource that we tend to take for granted.

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Nothing Like a Weekend Trip

The great thing about studying abroad is to be able to explore places that you have never seen before. At the University of Lorenzo de Medici (LdM) the school offers day trips to explore parts of Italy and their culture. One trip I took was to Lake Como and Switzerland, which was very close to Lake Como. Both of the places were amazing sites to see which I cannot recommend any higher than I do now. Continue reading

Connections Reward Opportunities

A lot of opportunities are simply awarded by just asking. Don’t be afraid to go after something you want. “Closed mouths don’t get fed”.

Watch Brooke’s Vlog below!

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Why Am I Wasting Time? [Vlog]

I like to keep myself busy but I find lying in bed dreading leaving my pillow. As the minutes go by, I lay on my pillow with regret of not getting up and exploring the city…and the cycle repeats itself.

Watch Brooke’s new Vlog below!

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Lost in Frenchlation [Vlog]

Being lost in the French language has really pushed me to break down my own barriers. My fears that I will be looked at as an ignorant American that only thinks the world revolves around the United States and English. I actuality, I took 3 years of Spanish in high school, but for some of us we barely remember anything. I’ve been holding myself back from learn for many reasons…now I don’t have a reason. Yes, people will look at you funny or joke but at the end you’ll be proving them wrong. I won’t be saying “désole je ne parle pas français” much longer.

Watch Brooke’s video below: Continue reading

Para-Panamerican Games!

To be completely honest, before coming to Peru, I did not know the Panamerican games existed.  I don’t think I would have even known what the Panamericans were if they were not hosted in Peru this year. All around the streets of Jesus Maria, I would see banners with the hashtag #jugamostodos and have no idea what the sign meant. Our program coordinator finally explained what the games were, and every meeting she would mention the games and how cheap the tickets were. Continue reading

Your Experience Is Not a Stereotype [Vlog]

Your Experience is not a Stereotype is about not allowing your perception or some else’s perception on the world around you change how you experience a world outside your comfort zone. This concept can be applied to numerous scenarios. It is okay to be frightened it is normal, but keep an open mind.

Watch Brooke’s video by clicking “Read More” Continue reading

The Connection of Food to Italy

When I decided to study abroad, one the first things I was really excited to see or rather taste was the food. Nothing ties more countries together than food and to be able to share it with other people and sharing various dishes are some of the few ways to experience cultures without a language barrier. Wanting to be a chef when I was younger has made me appreciate food and taste from different cultures without being picky. Continue reading

Who Discovered America

The Native American population is arguably one of the most underrepresented populations in the United States. In the US 2% of the population is Native American compared to Peru’s 25.7% indigenous population. While there is a significant difference in the amount of indigenous people in the US, there are also significant differences in how both Peru and the United States treat their indigenous community. Continue reading

“You are Missing Out on So Much Food”

To be completely honest, being a vegetarian in a Latin American country is not ideal. While in North America we have a huge vegan and vegetarian movement, the movement has not quite picked up the same momentum in South America. While it is a struggle, it is definitely not impossible. Continue reading

“Studying Abroad is Basically a Vacation, Right?”

The typical study abroad student posts beautiful pictures on Instagram of the beach. On their snapchat story they include the geo-tag of the cool location they are visiting that weekend. Friends comment “live your best life”, hyping up each and every picture vicariously living through their experience.This all contributes to the perception that studying abroad is a semester long vacation. As much as I wish I could write about life changing trips to the beach sipping margaritas on a Tuesday afternoon, I can’t. Continue reading

What They Do Not Tell You about Learning a Language

My decision to study abroad was mainly influenced by my desire to learn a language. The reason that I have only studied abroad in Latin American/Spanish speaking countries is because I believe in order to have a truly authentic experience one must know the language or have an idea of the language, but that is a topic for another blog post. My strong feelings about language learning pushed me to have a learning experience outside the classroom. I felt in the US learning a language was such a sterile process. Continue reading

A Remote Village or a Cultural Epicenter?

Hi again! Luckily enough for myself, I recently got to go on the marine biology trip with Dr. Rimkus and, not to be dramatic but, it was one of my favorite trips I have taken.

If you want to be immersed in a foreign culture, this is definitely the program for you. Dr. Rimkus worked closed with Ms. Nancy, both the owner of a small hotel we stayed in and on the board for his organization, Hawksbill Hope, that works both on tagging, tracking, and protecting the Hawksbill sea turtles of Gales Point, Belize, and aims to raise money for scholarships for the local children to enter high school. Anyways, Ms. Nancy made most of our itinerary around the both the best and more culturally immersive activities in Belize. We were able to go snorkeling, go manatee watching, go tubing through caves, walk through a savannah, and jungles, find the first green turtle tagged in Belize (big shout out to Rimkus’s favorite class), and so much more while we were there. Continue reading

Picking Your Perspective: How A Short Trip Can Switch Your Own Views On Home

Hi there! For just a quick introduction, my name is Sofie Gutierrez and I am an upcoming sophomore newly majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. I have always been interested in cultures and politics; they always seemed much more relevant to everyone’s day to day lives than people give them credit for. Anyways, when I found the global classroom series for Portugal, I was ecstatic. I was able to study human rights, specifically with immigration, and I was able to finally get myself to Europe, a long time dream of mine. Continue reading