STUDYING ABROAD IN COLOMBIA

THE IDEA OF GOING TO RUSSIA WAS ALWAYS A DISTANT, EXPENSIVE DREAM. DESPITE WHAT THE GLOBAL FELLOWSHIP COULD COVER, THE LIVING COSTS AND SCHOOL FEES (NOT EVEN MENTIONING MY TRAVELING COSTS) WOULD PUT ME IN SOME SERIOUS DEBT. ADDITIONALLY, MY RUSSIAN LANGUAGE STUDIES COULD NOT CONTINUE DUE TO MY SCHOLARSHIP ONLY BEING FOR 4 YEARS AND THE MULTIPLE MAJOR CHANGES I’VE HAD PUSHED MY RUSSIAN STUDIES BACK A YEAR. SO I FOUND MYSELF IN A RUT, THE NEXT FOUR YEARS LOOKING VERY BLEAK AND VERY STATESIDE.

DESPITE ALL OF THIS, MY NEW INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES MAJOR CALLS FOR A MINIMUM 4 WEEK VISIT TO A COUNTRY WHOSE LANGUAGE I WOULD BE STUDYING. I REALISED THAT MY SPANISH FLUENCY AND FAMILY IN COLOMBIA WOULD ALLOW FOR A CHEAP, MINIMUM ONE MONTH STAY IN A COUNTRY WHOSE ROOTS I CLAIM BUT DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW MUCH ABOUT. AND AFTER WATCHING THE NETFLIX SERIES NARCOS THIS PAST SEMESTER, I ALSO REALISED HOW MUCH I MISSED THE COUNTRY AND THE LANGUAGE (EDIT: HIGHLY AWARE THAT THE SHOW IS NOT AN ACCURATE DEPICTION. I SIMPLY MEANT THAT THE SONGS AND SOME OF THE SCENERY  SHOWN WERE VERY COLOMBIAN). COLOMBIA HAS A CERTAIN WARMTH THAT YOU CAN NEVER FORGET ONCE YOU’VE EXPERIENCED IT. 

SO NOW, I AM BLINDLY BLUNDERING TOWARDS A SUMMER VISIT TO COLOMBIA. I WANT TO PERFECT MY SPANISH AND TAKE CLASSES AT A UNIVERSITY, TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE CAPITAL OF BOGOTA AND VISIT CITIES LIKE NIEVA, CARTAGENA, SAN ANDRES, CALI, MEDELLIN, AND BUCARAMANGA. I HAVE ENROLLED IN A LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY COURSE SO HOPEFULLY THIS COMING SEMESTER I CAN UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT COLOMBIA’S ROOTS, AND HOW THE COUNTRY CAME TO BE. I’VE RECENTLY APPLIED TO THE INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE’S LEAF LEADERSHIP FUNDING WHICH WOULD PROVIDE FOR $2000 OVER THE SUMMER. ESPERO QUE RECIBIRÉ LA BECA! 

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