Posts under tag: Study Abroad
By Shayla T Hayes
For the terms of Winter and Spring of 2017, I decided to start a journey to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to study abroad through a program called CIEE. For these six and a half months I was able to immerse myself in the Brazilian culture and gain an experience I will never forget. I left in the beginning of January and flew in alongside a group of students that were both American and of other nationalities. I was placed into a host family who lives along the beach of Botafogo in Rio. This family consisted of a host mom, dad, and sister who was 9 years old. They also had a cat, Calvin, who became attached to me at the hip by the time I left. They all welcomed me with open arms, and I got to know them very well. None of them spoke English, so it forced me to practice my Portuguese right off the bat.
For the first month that I was in Brazil, I attended PUC-Rio. During this month, I took an intensive Portuguese. It was a lot to take in at once. On the bright side, I was able to meet a bunch of new students during this time, and I got to know my fellow international peers well. I then started school at ESPM in the central part of Rio. It was downtown and a business and design school. Here I studied photography and 3D animation for the next five months. I made some amazing Brazilian friends at ESPM. They guided me when I was lost, taught me things about Brazilian culture, and laughed with me just like any of my friends in the US would continue my Portuguese course studies, I had a private teacher through CIEE named Marco.
Outside of class, I experienced so many unforgettable things throughout the country. In February I was privileged enough to experience Carnival. It was indescribable, and the passion and liveliness were amazing. When I go back to Brazil, I hope to go during Carnival. I also traveled a lot. São Paulo, Vítoria, Salvador, Iguaçu, Ilha Grande and Argentina are just a few places to name. I had endless pictures from all of these journeys.
In Vítoria I was able to see my Brazilian brother, Vitor. I visited him at least four times during the six months. My mother also visited in May, and I was able to show her everything I was accomplishing and doing while exploring the wonderful country I lived in. Other things I did in my spare time was a hike, do internships with design, teach an English class to second graders, relax on the beach with a caipirinha in hand, and spend time with friends. I spent so much time on the beach and hiking it was insane. Other activities like soccer games, samba classes, and concerts were also on the list! Overall, I loved my time abroad. It was life-changing. Brazil has truly become a second home in my heart.
By Adrien Detchmendy
During Summer 2017, I traveled to Rio de Janeiro to participate in an intensive Portuguese language program. I had taken Portuguese classes at the U of O since my freshman year. Ever since I was young, Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language fascinated me, but I never was given the chance to take a Portuguese language class. When I entered into freshman year I signed up for Portuguese 101 taught by Bene Santos. Immediately I began to pick up the language with ease. I think a major factor into that was the professors teaching style. We drilled concepts but stuck to one a week, which gave me a strong base and understanding of the language. After I had finished the first year of Portuguese, my Portuguese professor suggested I look into studying abroad somewhere in Brazil. In fact, the professor strongly suggested it to all of the students in the class and implored people to travel to Brazil and experience the culture.
Going into my second year of Portuguese, I noticed the style of the class changed from the first year. Instead of focusing on vocabulary the focus was more on being capable to hold a conversation with a native speaker or someone who is learning as well. It was around this time I identified a summer program in Rio that looked good. As I began the process of applying, my professor couldn’t have been more helpful with it. She was more than happy to write me a recommendation to go and implored me to ask any questions or concerns I may have. Through the end of my second year in Portuguese, the class became increasingly focused on reading comprehension and conversation practice. One of our final projects was a 5-minute dialogue with another student about our summer plans. By doing all of the conversation practice and comprehension I felt I brought a strong understanding of the language with me to Brazil.
The program I was chose was an intensive Portuguese language course at PUC, a private Catholic university in Rio de Janeiro. From start to finish, the program lasted a little under 5 weeks. I was going to be staying with a host family in Copacabana. Going there, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. However, shortly I arrived I realized I had chosen the right place to come. The people in Brazil were warm, nice and very patient with me. They encouraged me to speak Portuguese anywhere I went and often they liked helping me practice so I could better learn and speak their language. Within the first week of being there I could feel my confidence increasing and by the end of my program, I was navigating the city and surrounding areas with ease. I think this transition, which can be so hard for others, was so easy for me because of all the conversation practice I had done in my Portuguese classes at the U of O.
Last semester Spanish Major Delaney Swink lived in Chile, studying for the first half of this academic year at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. In Valparaiso she was able to get involved in the community, volunteering with an organization called Hogar de Cristo, distributing hot and ready meals to the homeless around the city, directly to the places they sleep on the streets, creating opportunity to speak with people and gain perspective.
At the end of the semester Swink traveled to the south of Chile to work with an NGO called Maple Microdevelopment (founded by UO alumni) to learn about their micro-lending organization. In just one week, Swink was able to participate in the day-to-day lives of three Mapuche (indigenous people from Chile) families, scraping the surface of understanding some of the issues they face, and observing firsthand how Maple is becoming an integral factor in helping Mapuche families revive their culture and develop their community in ways that fit their community goals. Maple was an inspiration to Swink, who says that it was
“a model for how I would want to run my own nonprofit if provided the opportunity; respect for the needs of the community above all.”
Read more about Swink’s experience in Chile:
Professor David Wacks will lead a summer study abroad program in Oviedo, Spain in August of 2014. The Advanced Spanish Literature & Culture program is ideal for Spanish majors who like to have an intensive immersion experience while making significant progress toward the completion of their major requirements.
Students participating in this unique program will be able to satisfy SPAN 333 & SPAN 407 while abroad. For more information about the Oviedo program led by Professor Wacks please visit the UO study abroad website:
or . . . contact Professor Wacks via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadline is March 15, 2014!
RL scholarships are open to current UO undergraduate and graduate students in the Romance Languages Department. Undergraduate students must be declared majors or minors in the Romance Languages Department at the time of application. In order to receive a scholarship award you must be enrolled at the UO as a full time student during the 2014/2015 academic year.
The completed application is due in the Romance Languages Office by Monday, February 17th, 2014.
For more information please visit: rl.uoregon.edu/scholarships
Ivano Fulgaro, MA student in Romance Languages and a 2013 Stickels Scholarship recipient, reports the following experience from his time in Guadalajara, Mexico:
Thanks to the support of Department of Romance Languages and the Stickels Scholarship, last summer, I attended an advanced Spanish language course in Mexico. I chose to go to the Centro de Estudios para Extranjeros (CEPE) at Colegio de Español y Cultura Mexicana, University of Guadalajara. I soon realized that CEPE was the right choice since when I received the first email by Luis who helped me throughout the entire application process and during my stay. The course was well organized and delivered by an attentive instructor. We worked on several topics such as Mexican culture, cinema as well as the subjuntivo [subjunctive mood of verbs]. During my stay, I lived with a family and I had the opportunity to “taste” some Mexican food and culture with its nuances and peculiarities. Even if for a small amount of time, it was great to be part of the community and to communicate with people in a different language. The more languages we speak the bigger our world is.