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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Anastasia in Ecuador

Anastasia Wrenn ’19 is a double major in Theater and English and minor in Spanish who is studying in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Although my program has only started a few weeks ago, I can safely say studying abroad has already been one of the most enriching and exciting experiences of my undergraduate career. Ecuador is an incredible country with rich culture and some of the kindest people. As a Mexican-American who already speaks Spanish, adapting to the culture and language has been easier for me. However, it has been very fun to learn and live the differences between Ecuadorian Spanish and Mexican Spanish! I think it has really strengthened my understanding of the language while also improving my ear to understand new accents. Everyone at the University is welcoming and eager to help the exchange students acclimate to the new environment. I have enjoyed my classes so far and look forward to continuing them. I have never taken a political science class before and I am currently in a Human Rights class with Miriam Estrada Castillo, who is a very influential Ecuadorian lawyer and political figure. She is the Regional Adviser on Human Rights and Culture of Peace for UNESCO and it has been thrilling to listen to her lectures in our class. I am also taking to theater/performance art classes. As a theater major who has done extensive research on bilingual Latino Theater, it has been stimulating to attend theater classes in a Latin American country, as well as attend professional productions of Micro Teatro (plays that range from 15 minutes) with my host family. Live theater is beginning to boom in Ecuador and it has been very exciting to witness it from an academic perspective. In addition to attending Micro, there have been an abundance of opportunities here to learn outside the classroom. The university took us on a trip after our first week of classes to a national park in Puerto Lopez. We went whale watching and I shed a tear from the roof of our boat watching humpback whales (even a baby!) leap into the air. That weekend was so special to me, and I look forward to continue travelling throughout the country. I would like to deeply thank the Ingrid H. and George L. Speros Scholarship for facilitating this experience for my family and I. This opportunity has changed my life and I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who got me here. ¡Saludos!