Going to Purdue I constantly hear how amazing studying abroad is and why everyone should do it, but I really didn’t get into the hype. I mean, of course going to another country would be amazing, but what makes studying abroad that much better? This Spring Break studying abroad was proved entirely right. Going to another country as a study abroad student gives you a completely different picture than what I would’ve seen if I just went on vacation.
My study abroad trip was through the class “International Marketing” in Cartagena, Colombia over Spring Break. The class met 3 or 4 times before we went on the trip, but the class work was almost solely during spring break. The group was 14 students (Personal Finance, Industrial Management, Nutrition, and Nursing) with 2 AMAZING professors (Dr. David Evans and Lynn Davis). While we were there, we toured micro finance enterprises, a public health organization, helped fit over 200 people with reading glasses, visited a day care, and so much more. Our program was set up through a group called Bridges of Hope. It was the second year this particular Purdue study abroad is being done.
My hands-down favorite part of the trip was meeting several college students from two of the universities in Cartagena. Everyday we had a group of about 5 or 6 students who were studying English visit the various places and act as our translators. I loved learning about their lives here and exploring the “Old City” with them at night. Every single person I met was amazingly kind and patient with me while I struggled with the little Spanish I knew.
Also, without this trip, I never would have learned that my true calling is salsa dancing! I’m going to have to start the trend here! Along with hugging pretty much everyone you meet!
Making the transition back into my nursing classes and this freezing weather is quite the challenge. At least it is great to be able to keep in touch with the people I met in Cartagena. And luckily I brought back TONS of Colombian coffee to help my studying!
— Mary Jacobs, Junior, Nursing