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Bobcats without Borders

A Valuable Experience

Elizabeth and Friends in Patagonia
Elizabeth and Friends in Patagonia
Elizabeth Cancino-Perez
Computer Science & Engineering
Term Abroad: 
Fall 2019

Q: Initially, what made you decide to study abroad? Why did you choose your program?

A: I decided to study abroad because I wanted to get out of out of my comfort zone. I wanted to experience the world from another perspective, and challenge myself academically, in another environment.

I chose to go to Santiago, Chile because I wanted to practice speaking in my native language, Spanish. Also, the program offered a six-week course in Spanish that was intended to prepare students for the rigorous academic semester in The Pontificia Catholic University of Chile.

Q: What was the highlight of your study abroad experience?

A: The highlight of my study abroad experience was meeting people from all over the world.

Q: What was your greatest challenge abroad and how did you overcome it?

A: The greatest challenge abroad was when massive protests started to happen halfway through my program. It was dangerous to go outside and some of my classes were canceled for a period of time. The government issued a state of emergency in which everyone had a curfew to keep civilians safe from the demonstrations. Despite these challenges, my friends and I supported each other and stayed positive during those difficult times.

Q: How did your coursework abroad compare to your courses at UC Merced?

A: The coursework was equivalently the same as UC Merced. Classes were challenging, but I had support from my peers and I was able to do well in my classes.

Q: What did you gain from your study abroad experience?

A: I gained many friendships and memories that I will never forget. Also, I was able to gain self-confidence in myself and I was able to learn that anything is possible. Going abroad has helped me gain a valuable experience in my college career.

Q: What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?

A: I would tell students to study abroad! It is a life changing experience that you won’t regret!

Don’t forget to research your host country and find information to help you decide what country or study program you want to pursue. Also, I recommend that students apply to as many scholarships as they can because it comes in handy to have extra money abroad.

Q: Describe a typical day for you abroad.

A: A typical day for me, was taking the metro early in the morning. I would get to the university at around 8am and have classes until 12:30. After classes, I would have lunch with other exchange students and then head to my internship. I would end my internship at around 5pm. Once I returned home, I would make myself some dinner and I would have conversations about my day with my roommate. After I would do my homework and at times I would hang out with friends.