Global Engagement Day

So I was only able to attend the Fulbright Scholar Panel for Global Engagement Day. I found what the panelists had to say was very enlightening.

I didn’t really have an understanding of how the Fulbright Scholar Program worked but after going to this panel I have a clearer image of it.

I liked how the panelists mentioned what it took to find a sponsor and how you need to utilize every resource you have. And even if that resource doesn’t pan out it could point you in the direction of another resource. Some of the panelists were in the Fulbright program just to complete or work toward their graduate program however some of them were in it to teach English.

Another useful tip I learned was that when applying to try and mention how what you learn from your experience abroad can be taken and applied and taught when you return to the United States.

The panel was very informative and I am glad that I was able to attend!!




International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day and I attended “The Forgotten” a panel discussion. One of the panel speakers really stood out to me. Dr. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild who presented “Uncovering Hidden and Forbidden Histories: Research in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Space.”

I found her fascinating because she was able to uncover monumental artifacts of the women’s suffrage march in Russia and on Poliksena N. Shishkina-Iavein  who was a leading member of the pre-revolutionary Russian feminist movement. I think it’s cool that she was able to discover these lost gems and help show how much of an impact that women have on the world. It was interesting to hear about her search, it reminded me as if she were a detective trying to solve a case. She was able to find the newsreel of the 1917 Petrograd March for Women’s Suffrage which is shown in the video below. What’s even cooler is how she found Poliksena N. Shishkina-Iavein granddaughter who generously allowed pictures of historical women’s rights events to be scanned as digital copies and accessible to the public.

The Poliksena N. Shishkina-Iavein digital image collection

I love learning new things about the women who fight for our rights!


Kite Runner

So a couple weeks ago I watched the movie Kite Runner with the University of Oklahoma’s Foreign Film Club. The movie is based off of the book by Khaled Hosseini.

This movie really tugs on your heartstrings. Although it was hard for me to sympathize with the main character Amir. I don’t want to give the movie away but Amir had a lot to make up for in life. And in a way this movie shows how Amir tries to make up for the mistakes he made. I liked how it showed how life used to be in Afghanistan when Amir was a kid to how it is now. Even Amir was shocked on how different everything was. War, invaders, and political conflict can definitely change a country. This movie is graphic but it was a worthwhile watch.

Also I recommend everyone to check out OU’s Foreign Film Club. So far it’s been pretty fun being able to go to the movies they put on. I look forward to the next event.


OU Cousins Matching Party

Last semester I was unable to find a math at the OU Cousins matching party. Yet somehow this semester I was able to find two!

I’m really excited to be able to get to know my two wonderful cousins. One is from Germany and the other is from Saudi Arabia. I hope I can become fast friends with my new cousins and that our friendships stand the test of time.

I really like being a part of OU Cousins because it is a great way to learn about different cultures and creating new friendships.



Study Abroad Plans UPDATE

So y’all I am very excited to announce that I have been accepted to the Psychology in Scotland program and yes, I have committed to it!

Which is something I didn’t know you had to do… so if you guys are applying to any study abroad program make sure you continually check on your application status. Once you have been accepted into a program you have to decide whether you will commit to it or decline your acceptance. This is vital and must be done in a timely manner!

I am very excited for next year. 2017 will be the year “Solana Study Abroads.” It will be the year of travelling. It will be a year of immense growth and adaptation for me. I am beyond words and am glad that my goals are starting to become realities.


Being an English as a Second Language Tutor

Since this summer I have been tutoring a young women English as a Second Language.

I really like being her tutor because it has showed me how difficult English can be to learn. The English language is full of double meanings and confusing rules and is very tricky to explain. It’s made me very aware of my privilege of being a native English speaker.

I find people who are able to speak multiple languages fascinating and highly intelligent because that is not an easy task.



*me giving my student a nutcracker for Christmas*

I’m glad I decided to become an ESL tutor because it has been such a fulfilling role for me.


Movie Night!

*spoilers are contained in this post!*

So last week I saw a movie hosted by the new OU Foreign Film Club called “The Year my Parents Went on Vacation.”

This movie was very interesting because it was told from the viewpoint of a child.

So the main character Mauro is sent off to live with his granddad because his parents are going on “vacation.” It’s obviously apparent to the audience that the parents are on the run, we later find out they are running from the government and that’s why they are unable to care for Mauro. Throughout the movie we see the government treating people who are socialists/leftists very harshly. At one point Mauro even lets one of these leftists stay with him (the guy was a close friend of Mauro’s father). But I am getting ahead of myself.

Mauro is dropped off at his granddads apartment but no one is there to let him in. His parents have left, to go on their “vacation” and don’t know that the grandfather has actually passed away! He passed away that very day and so Mauro is left abandoned! His grandfather’s next door neighbor takes him in, and despite their many differences, they eventually grow to like each other.

This movie gave insight on what it was like to live in Brazil during 1970. It seems to center around the World Cup especially because Mauro’s parents said they would be back from their vacation by then…

One thing I found surprising was that Mauro’s granddad and the new community he finds himself in is that it is primarily Jewish. I don’t know why but I never thought that there were Brazilian Jews. Obviously you can practice any religion but I never knew that there were Jews in Brazil. So for me this was pretty eye opening in showing me how sometimes I am very ignorant on the history of countries besides my own.

I think by being a Global Engagement Fellow I’ve been given the opportunity to expose myself to cultures, and histories, that I never would have been exposed to before.

I really enjoyed the movie and think everyone should watch it.

And on whether Mauro’s parents ever came back, well you’ll have to watch the movie to find out for yourself!



Before you vote…

So today is Election Day! I have already voted but I won’t say for who…

But before you vote I want to tell you some things I learned about at “A Center for the Americas Roundtable: the Foreign Policies of Clinton and Trump.” This event was held a while ago on October 24th but I still think about it even today. OU Faculty and Staff held a panel where they each talked about different aspects of foreign policy and the stances of each candidate on foreign policy.

Some of the major things I recall the most is that:

  • Clinton wants to end the embargo with Cuba and supports the opening toward Cuba
  • Trump is not for Cuba
  • Clinton wants us to partner with Syrian Rebels
  • Trump wants to work with Russia against ISIS
    • Trump also believes that the Middle East needs a “strong man” policy

There are a lot of things you should know before you vote. I highly recommend taking the political quiz at It’s very helpful.

I’m really glad that OU offer these types of events because it is very helpful that OU tries to keep its students informed about politics.


Hello World

This year has been quite interesting. Mostly because of what I’ve been making plans for…

yes you guessed it, I plan to study abroad.


Hopefully Scotland this summer and then Mexico next fall. I have applied for the Psychology in Scotland program and I am applying for the OU in Puebla, Mexico program.

I’m so excited for both! I’m nervous about leaving my friends and family but I’m super excited about studying in a completely new country. I am stressed about the classes and the workload but I have faith in myself.

Studying abroad takes a lot of planning and if you truly want to make it a reality you have to work for it. You have to make the appointments, meet with the advisers, do the applications, and never forget to follow up.

I am going to make studying abroad a reality this year.

*fingers crossed*


Global Engagement Day

I went to the chat session on Global Engagement Day and it was really fun listening to others’  study abroad experiences. I felt that it gave me a lot of insight of what to expect for my study abroad experience. I like to know that studying abroad really does change your life in many ways.

It was also fun learning about how other countries treat Americans, the ease of travel in Europe, and how studying abroad can be challenging at times but it is always rewarding.

Global Engagement Day really made me look forward to my own study abroad experience. I can’t wait to travel and see the world, I am excited for the challenges and journey that awaits me.

I highly encourage my fellow peers to study abroad. Even though I have not study abroad YET, I know it’s one of the best college experiences one can have.