The last few weeks of my first semester in Peru were quite hard. For one, I was overwhelmed with stress due to exams and considering that my International Studies degree plays out to be a Social Science degree out here, I had to write a lot of papers (although it took me quite a while to find my flow, I had reached peak productivity at one point).
Secondly, my program in Bolivia got canceled considering that the US Department of State’s travel advisory changed it from a level 2 (exercise increased caution) to a level 4 (do not travel) for U.S. citizens because of the results of their elections during the month of October carrying out a reaction through November (as of now, the travel advisory has changed); yet, my second semester there was canceled due to safety concerns. Luckily, I was able to arrange an agreement with our GEO office and PUCP to allow me to do the second semester in Peru (which I am eternally grateful for because I genuinely wanted to complete my academic year abroad). But, it would explain my absence in terms of these blogs, and I completely apologize.
If you want to read more on Bolivia I suggest:
I think that if a student is considering studying abroad, they should definitely be conscious of the fact that anything could potentially happen at any moment. If I am being honest, I did not think my program would get canceled but it was within reason considering that this is a matter of one’s presence, international relations, and public safety. Yet, I found the importance of having a back-up plan, luckily my return to Peru worked smoothly. Most importantly though, it makes you conscious of things that are actually happening around you and how as an American citizen we could easily be sheltered or distanced in terms of certain situations and circumstances (which of course is not a similar experience for every individual, in this case for me abroad).
Because of a lack of time and planning, I have a summer vacation in winter, which I definitely do not mind. I came back home for the holidays and a little more time. Yet, in Lima, the holiday season is celebrated in the midst of hot humid weather and scorching sun, while eating panettone (which reminds me of fruit cake) and drinking hot chocolate. Ironically, the Christmas decorations still have elements of snow and cold weather. Since I had about a week off before coming back home, I treated myself to a small in-city vacation while visiting the things I had yet to see (which I will talk about in other blogs). As of now, I hope everyone had a happy holiday and new year!