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Study Abroad Highlights
Lisa Kaiser, a second year Oklahoma State Chemical Engineering student studied abroad in Mexico at Universidad de las Americas Puebla (UDLAP).
“I decided to study abroad because I wanted to experience a different culture and learn Spanish,” Kaiser said. “I think the best way to learn another language is go to the place where they speak the language and that you will need to use everyday”
During her time in Cholula, Puebla, Kaiser found that her favorite moments were those that were unexpected. For Kaiser, the goal was to experience the culture.
“I saw native dances, traditional food, ancient buildings, and Mesoamerican towns,” Kaiser said. “I learned Mexico is full of culture around every corner. I think it is all about finding friends who are willing just to go along with the flow and enjoy all the beautiful things around you.”
Kaiser’s time abroad had an impact on her academic goals. Kaiser arrived in Mexico with a very basic Spanish level, often finding that it was easier to communicate with hand signals. After completing her program, she noticed a lot of improvement to her Spanish level.
“At the end of the semester my Spanish improved maybe not to the point of being Bilingual but I was happy with the outcome,” Kaiser said. “Learning Spanish in Mexico is actually very hard because of all the different versions of Spanish throughout the country.”
Kaiser also noticed other ways that study abroad has contributed to her personal goals. She found that she became independent quickly as the distance from home required her to make decisions without as much family input. Leaving this comfort zone led Kaiser to experiencing incredible opportunities.
“I definitely ventured out of my comfort zone by trying new foods, joining dance classes and taking day trips to other cities,” Kaiser said.
Being an engineering major, Kaiser thought that semester-long programs were not going to be available for her academic discipline. Yet her focus on finding an engineering program in a Spanish speaking country led her to UDLAP.
“So if an engineering major can do it and still graduate in 4 years, you can too,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser’s advice for other OSU students interested in studying abroad:
“The journey can sometimes be hard being so far away from your normal, but you will walk away with so many more memories and lifelong friends that you didn't think existed.”
Photo submitted by Lisa Kaiser (right)
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