New experiences offer opportunities to grow

An opportunity to study abroad allowed a Winters alumni to grow beyond her comfort zone.
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Apart from learning more about the field I one day aspire to work in, I learned immensely about the culture of Ecuador from the food, dance, to the history and art of the country. I also lived with Ecuadorian parents who kindly took me in as family. My time with them was very memorable. They showed me all that they loved about their culture and greatly emphasized the value of family. The best part was practicing the Spanish language with them whether it was during meals or roaming around Centro Historico, in Quito. Since I come from a latin background, I desired to become fluent in the language and continue with it even after my time abroad. Part of my experience was having the opportunity to visit the Galapagos Islands to study the wildlife preservation for my biology class. The Galapagos Islands is home to the Giant tortoises species which represent one of the two remaining groups of a Giant Tortoise population in the entire world. The tortoise can live up to 100 years old and weigh up to 500 pounds. The island was a place filled with such natural beauty and creation. It was fascinating to see many exotic creatures that I have yet seen or even had knowledge about. My cohort and I also studied the history of the Inca Ruins and visited the beautiful Machu Picchu in Peru. I often look back at my experience in a new country and it feels like a distant memory, yet something so vivid. I believe that one does not fully understand the perspective of living and adjusting to a new culture until they have been placed in those shoes themselves. My time in Ecuador was not just sunshine, but also stormy. It was a time for me to reflect on the person that I am becoming. One of the greatest things I learned was the ability to have humility within my character and the people around me. I grew in love to serve people in any place that I am and gained a new appreciation for life. One of my favorite projects was serving the community of Misahualli in the Amazon Jungle. This beautiful study abroad opportunity allowed me to grow beyond my comfort zone in something I believe I could not personally ever do. I encourage everyone to strive for a new experience in their passions even if it is something never done before. Studying in Ecuador was very rewarding and impactful. I have developed and will continue to expand my values and beliefs while growing my personal worldview.]]>

1 comment
  1. Excellent report! We loved to read it, Ecuador is certainly a beautiful country, we are glad you enjoyed and have a glimpse of the Ecuadorean culture.

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