Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: Uruguay

Anna, wearing a face mask, poses by the seashore

In this week's Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Anna Moellenbeck, a junior International Studies and Political Studies major who is studying abroad in Montevideo, Uruguay this semester. 

What are you studying in your program?

I'm studying Spanish at the university. All of my classes except one are in Spanish!

Why did you choose your study abroad program?

I wanted to go to a Spanish-speaking country that I hadn't heard anything about before. Uruguay is the hidden gem of Latin America. I was drawn to it because of its laid back and liberal way of life.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your experience?

My program was cancelled in the fall, and this semester COVID has changed a lot of things. We had to quarantine for two weeks after arriving, and we have to wear masks in the university. A lot of our classes were cancelled, like a cooking class and a dance class, because it's hard to wear masks and social distance while doing those activities.

What are the coolest places you have visited on your program?

I visited Punta del Este, a beach town about two hours away from the capital Montevideo where I'm studying. It's called Little Miami because of its similarities to Miami, Florida. It was my first time seeing the ocean and my friends and I had an amazing time. We were able to watch the sunset from the beach and we traveled up a nearby mountain to look at the stars.

What is your favorite part of your program so far?

I absolutely adore my professors and the opportunities I have to speak Spanish. My professors want us to speak as much Spanish as possible during class, so they encourage us to go off topic as long as we keep speaking. I've also loved getting to work on my Spanish. Uruguayans are very patient and kind, so I haven't been met with a lot of hostility when I speak my broken and American-ized Spanish.

How has the study abroad experience changed you so far?

It's made me more confident to spend time by myself and make my own experiences. I have done a lot on my own here, like explore the city or trying new restaurants. I've also used Facebook and other apps to set up coffee dates with tons of new people. I've done this all by myself, and it feels great. It's making me prepared for life after college.

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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