Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A student's perspective

Last summer, Nicole was one of the 13 students from Rutgers who participated in the international service-learning program in Bolivia. Here is what she has to say about her experience:

"Traveling to Bolivia through the RU Study Abroad program was the most amazing thing I could have possibly done with my summer.  It was 7 weeks of traveling in one of the most beautiful countries in Latin America, meeting the most interesting people, speaking the most beautiful language, contributing substantially to a community through service work, and studying the most interesting subjects: cultural anthropology and Latin American studies through the lens of human rights, justice, and law.  This trip was actually my first experience with cultural anthropology, and my first time traveling to South America, and I ended up falling in love with both!  The trip even made me ready to finally declare my major and hone my interests for future studies, travels, and work experience!  The service-learning aspect of the project was incredibly significant, as we were able to learn about rights and justice in Bolivia while accomplishing sustainable projects and building long-term support for a community in Cochabamba .

"One of my favorite parts of the trip was traveling to el Chapare, a region of dense rainforest and indigenous communities.  While we got to explore this magical place with such a wide variety of plant and animal species, we also learned about the political history of the indigenous communities there in which many injustices had been and still are happening.  The trip overall had a great balance of travel, learning, service, and fun.  I highly recommend this trip to anyone who likes to travel, experience a culture very different from their own, learn or speak another language, and understand how the history of an ancient place can shape the future of its modern citizens."

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