Nicole Spangler spent the summer studying in Valparaiso, Chile. She attended class during the week at La Universidad Católica de Valparaiso studying the Spanish language as well as a class on the Chilean economy, where she was able to focus on the development of the economy in regards to the governing power of the time. Outside of class, she spent the evenings working in conversation classes with Chilean students at the university or attending workshops where she worked with local artists in the community to learn how to create their specialty. She attended a lecture by the United States ambassador, toured the local congressional building, learned about the importance of graffiti in Valparaiso by a well-known graffiti artist, and visited the fish market where she interviewed local fishermen and heard about the troubles they are experiencing both economically and from international pressures. On the weekends she was able to travel to different towns in Chile. During her stay, Nicole lived with a host family where she was able to experience Chile in a different perspective. She spent most of her free time talking with her host mom, who gave her insight on the political history and problems Chile has faced and is still facing today. Her mom took her to the markets, to run errands and also gave several lessons on how to cook Chilean food. Although this was only her first trip abroad, Nicole’s experience has helped her to develop a better of idea of what she wants to do in the future.
CEE Title: Logistics of Study Abroad and Cultural Understanding Abroad Forum