UI Study Abroad Blogger

Although my daily life in Bolivia is so much more than a class schedule, I want to describe what college is like in Cochabamba. It’s (almost) perfect and I (almost) never speak English. From indigenous languages to week-long field trips, my class schedule is anything but dull. Here’s a look at my classes

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I know I promised to deliver a blog about my classes this week, but consider that cancelled for the moment. Instead, I feel it is necessary to discuss my past week in Potosí. I’m fortunate to be studying here on a program that takes us to 6 major cities of Bolivia and even into parts of the countryside. I was not, however, mentally prepared for Potosí.

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My daily commute to class is something that makes even me jealous. When I was given my housing assignment the first day I arrived in Florence I was a bit panicked because it seemed so far away from the main school building and I was obviously worried that I would get lost in the labyrinthine streets of Florence. However, I quickly realized that it was not nearly as far as it seemed and while it took me a bit to get the hang of my commute without getting lost, once I did, I realized that it was a blessing in (not so subtle) disguise.

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While heritage, adventure, education and cuisine were all critical considerations in my choice to study abroad, I learned in the first three days of my trip that those reasons would have dissolved if I didn’t have a great support system. Ironically, the largest influence in my decision to move 5,993 miles away from my family…was my family.

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Being in CIEE’s Santiago de Chile program has been an extraordinary and seemingly-existential experience thus far.  I’m having a wonderful time, my host family is so nice and so supportive—I couldn’t imagine a better housing arrangement—my classes are so interesting and thought-provoking, and Santiago (well… Chile, itself, really) is full of unexpected adventures.

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Travel anxiety is not a recent development of mine. Of course, I call it “travel anxiety” because I don’t know what else to call it, and it’s difficult to pin with words

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It’s now been a week since I moved in with my host family and began classes in Cochabamba! Much has changed in this short time both for me and Bolivia as a whole. With that, I want to take a moment to touch on what’s been going on in the heart of South America.

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Bolivia is not even close to being a popular study abroad location for American students. You will seldom see it advertised at study abroad fairs (although the number of programs for American students recently increased from one to two). Rarer yet will you hear from actual alumni of such a program.

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Unfortunately, my first blog will not be a very happy one.  A strong message presented itself on August 4th and I felt compelled to share it with all of you.

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We're excited to announce our Study Abroad Bloggers for the fall 2016 semester! These unique individuals were selected from a competitive pool of writers to tell the story of their destination and represent the voice of University of Iowa students while abroad. Throughout the semester, these students will share their experiences through writing and photography to be published weekly here on International Accents. 

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