BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - FALL 2008
"Buenos Aires is a vibrant, beautiful and fascinating city that I knew nothing about before the study abroad program. Truthfully, I knew very little about South America. Participation in the program revealed engaging insights and wonderful truths about the city, the country and the world. While exploring my neighborhood, which was conveniently located in the heart of the city, participating in the Anthropology and Spanish courses offered, or traveling to Iguaçu Falls, perhaps the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, I was repeatedly struck by the vast expanse of cultural and natural brilliance. While a participant in the program, I applied to UC schools and I am confident the experiences and perspectives gained in Argentina helped me get into and graduate with High Honors from the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology. While a student, accompanied by a number of other San Diego City College study abroad alumni, I served as chair of the Anthropology Undergraduate Association, wrote an honors thesis that won a departmental award, and delivered the commencement speech for the class of 2011. Since graduation, I have worked as a Research Associate for the Center for Innovation and Technology in Public Health, an arm of the Public Health Institute, using skills gleaned from anthropological analyses of medical topics to inform public health and public policy initiatives. In fall 2012, I will begin the UC San Francisco-UC Berkeley joint PhD program in Medical Anthropology, where I will continue studying vitally important issues, such as economic and political battles over water rights in Riobamba, or life and death among children in Brazil, topics I was first introduced to while studying abroad through San Diego City College, a program and a school I continue to be grateful for. And I am also pleased to share that I was just awarded a three-year Graduate Research Fellowship by the National Science Foundation!
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"I was awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in the amount of $3,000 in order to help pay my expenses to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina during Fall 2008 I would have not been able to go without this prestigious scholarship. This experience has had a huge impact on my life since then because I left the U.S. not knowing what I wanted to do with my future. I came back with a better sense of myself and the world around me. I studied mostly Spanish and Latin American politics, and that has had a tremendous influence on my ideas for future academic endeavors and career paths. When I finished the program, I continued traveling to Chile and Peru. Once I returned to the U.S., I went on to finish my B.S. in Psychology, and I am currently in school again for my Master's degree in Public Administration. I am also a full-time pre-school teacher and most of my recent jobs have been in education. I highly recommend the study abroad experience to everyone, not only for the educational experience, but because it enriches your life and leads you to appreciate your own country after you have been outside of it."
"I had the pleasure of studying abroad in Buenos Aires in the Fall 2008. Our group was the pilot group for this study abroad destination and we had some great experiences. Spending a semester in the capital of Argentina truly opened my eyes to new experiences. Our classes included anthropology, History of Latin America, Spanish immersion courses, and a very interesting Argentine Life and Culture course. Our program was very well organized when it came to extra curricular activities as well, including the opportunity to go to a hacienda outside of the city and experience the life of a gaucho first hand. The classes were held in a language school in the charming neighborhood of Recoleta which made for a very beautiful study environment.
This study abroad experience was one of the sparks that kindled my desire to get a degree in International Business at San Diego State University with an emphasis in Latin America. Being multicultural in this increasingly interconnected world is a very important asset to have. An eye-opening experience such as studying abroad is vital to understanding the world we live in. I have just completed a internship at South American Explorers club in Cusco, Peru which allowed me to work first hand in South America and see how business is done in a different culture. Living in a foreign country and working or studying abroad is a life-changing experience and everyone who gets a chance to do so should take advantage of it."
"I was privileged to study in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the Fall of 2008 through San Diego City College. This semester was my first extended international experience, and it still lives strongly inside of me through my daily outlook on the world. I was deeply inspired by the beautiful ways in which different people live their lives, and it pushed me further into my love and interest in music and anthropology. I have since continued my study of these two subjects at the University of California, Berkeley. I am currently in my third year and I will be going to London during summer 2012 to do field research as a part of my undergraduate honors thesis. I am studying street music as a cultural anthropologist.
It is my opinion that all students should have the opportunity to experience the life-changing and abundant benefits, both academic as well as personal, that come from studying and living abroad. I would not have been able to study abroad without the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, nor would I be where I am now without other scholarships. I encourage students to apply for them regularly as there are many out there and they make dreams come true. Best wishes and happy trails!"
SUMMER SPANISH IMMERSION IN CUERNAVACA, MEXICO
"My name is Amanda. I participated in the Summer 2008 Study Abroad Program in Cuernavaca, Mexico. I was fortunate to receive a small scholarship to participate in the program. My homestay family was very welcoming and taught me a lot about Mexican culture. The house was clean and safe and within walking distance from school. My class size was about 5 people. As a result, we really connected and built strong relationships. Our classes were held outdoors in the garden or school patio. The total immersion greatly improved my Spanish. The short term program was convenient being that I am a non-traditional student. Therefore, it was feasible to take a month off from my responsibilities to take part in this amazing adventure.
My summer abroad was the starting point of my travel bug. Since then, I transferred to San Diego State University and also studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every experience has increased my cultural awareness and sensitivity towards others. My most amazing experience was studying abroad with Semester at Sea! I traveled through the Mediterranean including to Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. Upon graduation, I started my career path as a program assistant with the United States – Mexico Border Health Commission. It was the combination of my cultural competency and language skills that enabled me to obtain my position.
I highly recommend studying abroad as a means of self-development, career development, adventure and cultural awareness. We live in a globalized society in need of globalized leaders. Studying abroad whether it be a short term or long term program will make a tremendous impact on your world view. Lastly, I highly suggest applying for scholarships and fellowships. Do not let money get in the way of your education and your development. There is a lot of support once you decide to take the step forward.
"My girlfriend and I participated in the SDCC Study Abroad program in the summer of 2007. We went to Cuernavaca, Mexico for 4 weeks to study Spanish at 'Universal.' The classes were difficult but rewarding. The greatest part of the experience was the wonderful weekend excursions where we got a real appreciation and some depth of understanding of the rich Mexican history and culture. Living in the home of a reasonably typical Mexican family was enlightening as well. We still have contact with some of the other participants. We both recommend a study abroad experience as a meaningful part of gaining an education!"
"During summer 2006 I went to Cuernavaca, Mexico to study intensive Spanish after my 2nd semester at City College. I had loved going places and learning about other cultures from my world travels with the U.S. Navy. Since no one else spoke English in Cuernavaca other than the other students in my homestay family, we HAD to apply what we learned in class just to get around. We went all over the city from the movies, to the mall, and to just about every night club. We even went on excursions to Mexico City and Acapulco on weekends. I had a blast and I learned so much more in Cuernavaca than in my Spanish class in San Diego because I applied what I learned in class almost immediately with the people in Cuernavaca.
Today I use Spanish all the time for my work as a Marketing Broker for Legal Shield. I help with the interview process in person and with my Spanish website, legalshield.com/mem/oamason, I am able to assist the Spanish-speaking community all over the U.S. And I owe it all to my decision to join the study abroad program with the help of City's Study Abroad advisor who helped me and all the other students every step of the way."
"I studied abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico during the summer of 2005. I wanted to study abroad because I have always been very interested in learning about other cultures. I had taken Spanish in high school and wanted to continue learning the language. Language immersion was a great excuse to travel and also a strategic way to learn a language while receiving school credit. What's not to love! Living in Cuernavaca for a month made me all too aware of gross disparities in wealth people can suffer from. It made me want to work with human rights. I graduated from UCSD as a Sociocultural Anthropology major, and Human Rights minor. I am currently interning at the International Rescue Committee and will be serving in AmeriCorps at the International Rescue Committee starting September 2011."
CANNES, FRANCE - SPRING 2004
"I participated in the San Diego City College Study Abroad Program during spring semester 2004 in Cannes, France, on the French Riviera. I was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, which, together with my Pell Grant, paid for the cost of the program. I certainly would not have been able to go without the Gilman scholarship. As an archaeology/anthropology major, the opportunity to visit both prehistoric and historic sites made the program absolutely priceless! I am still studying the French language. Study abroad in France was complete immersion, which gave me an awesome foundation in the language.
I graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and currently work as a professional archaeologist in Southern California specializing in desert archaeology."