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.

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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.

 

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*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.

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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!

 

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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 isidewith.com. 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.

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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.

Where?

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*

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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.

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OU Cousin’s BBQ

Last Thursday I went to the OU Cousin’s BBQ. I had a really great time! The food was delicious, the atmosphere was great, I even got a free cowboy hat and bandana. I brought two of my closest friends with me to show them how OU Cousins gets down.

I think this event was great because it showed part of the American culture to our OU Cousins. I had a lot of fun because they taught us some line dances and I knew one of them so the instructor had me go up with my friends and teach the rest of the crowd how to do the line dance.

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It was a great event but it made me think of all the international events that I went to this year. When you go to an event to learn about another culture the best thing to do isn’t just to watch and observe but to associate what aspects of that culture resonate with your very own life and to appreciate the differences.

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French Film Screening: Homeland (Ne quelque part)

So tonight I went to a french film screening held in Meacham Auditorium here on campus.

It was a very interesting movie partly because it was in French and had NO  English subtitles. Also I don’t speak French!

What I got from the movie was that a french man in his twenties went to another country and made friends and stayed at this old home. One of his friends who at first was a very good friend stole practically everything from him and then after that it was confusing because stuff was happening but I didn’t understand because it was all in French. But he made more friends and at one point all of his friends were in a boat except one and I think they wanted the one to come with them but he was like I can’t. I think this was a sad moment in the movie. Then the guy and his friends hide in cargo on a bigger ship and they go back to France. It was quite a bad experience for the main character. Then he gets arrested and his girlfriend or ex girlfriend bails him out I guess. And then it ends with him leaving and hugging her… also I think he was supposed to be saving the old home he had been staying at but that didn’t work out.

I think it was a very good movie I just wish I knew what everyone was saying.

Maybe I should learn french??

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Eugene Onegin the Opera

So a couple weeks ago I went to see the opera Eugene Onegin with my mom. I really loved the show, it was so much better than I expected. My mom and I had never been to the opera before and my birthday was just a couple days later so we celebrated my birthday by going to the opera.

OU has an excellent theatre and dance program! I was taken away by the performers’ voices and the dancers’ dancing.

I don’t want to spoil the show so I won’t give any of it away but if you ever get the chance to see Eugene Onegin, well I highly recommend it for everyone to see.

I really enjoyed it because I felt as if I was transported back to that time in Russia and as if I was a country girl singing about love.

For my first time at the opera it wasn’t bad at all and my mom loved it too!

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Wadjda the movie

I loved watching the movie Wadjda! It was such a good film and that fact that it was filmed in Saudi Arabia by a Saudi director makes me feel like I got an honest representation of the culture.

The story is about Wadjda a young girl who lives in Saudi Arabia and dreams of having her own bike. But its frowned upon for girls to have bikes, and Wadjda’s mother won’t buy her one. Wadjda wants the bike so she can race her friend Abdullah, one of the neighborhood boys. Wadjda ends up selling hand made bracelets and mixtapes so she can save up for a bike. And eventually ends up entering a Koran competition so she can use the prize money to buy a bike. I won’t tell you anymore, you’ll just have to watch the movie yourself.

I really liked this movie because it opened my eyes to cultures outside of my own. It showed me the vast differences between cultures and made me realize that the world is bigger than just America. I mean I knew that, but I didn’t fully know that.

A lot of things that seem normal and natural in the United States is quite the opposite in Saudi Arabia. The movie showed how girls weren’t supposed to wear nail polish, or let men see them, and how an 11 year old girl can marry a 20 year old man, how a husband can make the decision to marry again because his first wife isn’t able to give him a son. The movie shocked me but I really enjoyed it.

The ending was very sweet and I highly recommend everyone to go watch this movie!

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