Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: The Andes

In this week's, Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Tessa Perry, a senior International Studies and Spanish major, who studied the indigenous communities and biodiversity of Ecuador and Perú during Spring 2019 semester. At Miami, Tessa is involved in Delight Ministries, a Christian women's ministry.

 Tessa holds a walking stick and poses in front of mountainsWhat did you study in your program?

I studied Spanish, Latin American studies, and Quichua (the indigenous language of Ecuador), as well as the indigenous communities and biodiversity of Ecuador and Perú.

Why did you choose your study abroad program?

I had already spent a summer in Spain with the Miami Spanish department, and I wanted to continue advancing my Spanish abilities in a new cultural context. My advisor told me that the Andean region of South America has the easiest accent for a language learner, so I looked at programs in that region and found one that included trips to the Amazon jungle, the Galápagos Islands, and Machu Picchu. I knew that was the one for me!

What were the coolest places you visited on your program?

Some of the coolest places I visited were the Galápagos Islands, Rainbow Mountain (Perú), the Amazon jungle, and the Ecuadorian highlands.

Tessa faces away from the camera as she surveys the mountainsWhat was your favorite part of your program?

My favorite part was experiencing the natural beauty and indigenous culture of Ecuador. I had never experienced many of the biological environments we visited in Ecuador, such as the jungle, volcanic islands, and mountains over 16,000 feet in elevation. I love nature, and those experiences are some of my fondest memories. I also was fascinated by the indigenous cultures of Ecuador, because they are so prominent in Ecuador's national identity and we were able to learn about their history and worldview.

How has the study abroad experience changed you so far?

I am a much more independent, confident, and globally minded person after spending a semester in South America. I grew as a person, I gained insights into my career goals, and I have a much more well-rounded perspective than I had previously had.

Where in the World is Miami Wednesday is a news article series that features Miami students studying abroad/away and international students. Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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