This semester, The Pendulum will be working with a select group of international correspondents in study abroad programs all around the world to bring you first-hand accounts of the stories you would otherwise only find in major newspapers. From stories investigating culture and hard-news articles to photo stories of life abroad and the correspondents’ thoughts about their experiences, we’ll have you covered. We’ll even bring you the best recipes. Once a week until school starts, check back here at the News Blog to see the thoughts of a new correspondent as he or she gets ready to embark on a new adventure.
This week, read the story of Katie Moran, a music theatre major headed to Quito, Ecuador Aug. 16.
Ecuador is not your average travel destination among college students and those wishing to study abroad. In fact, more often than not, people give me puzzled looks or ask me to repeat myself when I tell them I’m spending my next semester in Quito.
So why did I choose Ecuador of all places?
To be honest, I don’t know. Before applying to the program, I had no previous knowledge of the country aside from the fact that they speak Spanish. But that’s the beauty of studying abroad in my opinion. I wanted to go someplace that I could have no preconceived notions about, and Ecuador is full of mysteries to me.
Having the summer to plan and prepare for the upcoming semester has proved both exciting and detrimental to my sanity. With all the free time at home, my imagination and curiosity has run wild at the thought of my new host family, the university, taking all my classes in Spanish and the culture shock that comes with living abroad. To say that I am nervous is an understatement. But I fully believe that we must do things that scare us. For me, it’s studying abroad and trying to communicate in a foreign language. For others, it may be sky-diving or eating alligator. I think it’s so important to have as many adventures and experiences as possible in order to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, which is why I welcome this next semester as an exciting change of scenery and point of view.
Luckily, I am no stranger to travel, as my family moved to England when I was twelve. But the idea of going to the equator alone is definitely scary. Thankfully, one other Elon student is also venturing there as well, but since the program is small, I feel confident we will get an authentic experience far different from my days in jolly old England.
I’m so intrigued by the differences and similarities in culture and relationships. While I’m in Quito, I want to write about the relevance and importance of family, the experience of holidays, celebrations and traditions and how Ecuador views the United States in terms of our politics and reputation–they are the only country in South America that uses the U.S. dollar, and I’m interested in learning more about the relationship between the two countries.
Overall, I plan to relay the essence of Ecuadorian life through my articles during the next few months, and I could not be more excited. I hope my accounts inspire others to seek that which they are intrigued and afraid of. I hope there are fascinating parallels between Ecuadorian students and ourselves and I hope Quito is as wildly enticing to you as it is to me.