Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Students to share amazing experiences from their Study Abroad in Peru

Eight dedicated students from University of Illinois Springfield will share their experiences from their Summer study abroad program in Peru on Nov. 4, 2010. The brown bag presentation and photo exhibit will take place at noon, in PAC Conference Room F on the UIS campus. UIS students, staff, faculty and community members are encouraged to attend this free presentation.

"Traveling to Peru this past summer was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Craig Pelka, one of the students who spent over a month abroad studying the Peruvian culture and history, completing 32 hours of Spanish immersion, and participating in a volunteer internship at one of the many local non-government organizations.

The UIS delegation lived in Cusco, the former capitol of the Incan empire, and took part in many excursions to historical sites. Students trekked through the jungle, climbed the challenging Huanya Picchu mountain, explored and studied the 500 hundred year old World Heritage Site Machu Picchu, and navigated on Lake Titicaca – the world’s highest navigable lake sitting 12,500 feet above sea level. They also participated in local festivals and parades (sporting traditional costume!) including Inti Rami, the Festival of the Sun God.

A language course also fulfilling an Engaged Citizen Community Experience (ECCE) requirement, this Perú Study Abroad was being offered for the second year in a row under the instruction of UIS professor Veronica Espina. “This course is very special to me,” she said. “There has never been such an extensive and truly experiential learning short term study abroad course in South America that allows our students to stay 35 days abroad, intern in Spanish speaking organizations, and travel to World Heritage Sites!”

The group consisted of students Kimberly Bach, Cathy Caldwell, Kelsey Holt, Stanislaw Lipski, Molly Meinhardt, Craig Pelka, Carol Schulte, and Andy Shaffer. The enthusiastic bunch will be eager to share their stories of battling soroche (altitude sickness), eating the local delicacy cuy (guinea pig!), and relying on the magical healing powers of the coca leaf on Nov. 4. “I don't think I could put into words how much this trip has changed me,” said Kelesy Holt. This year’s Brown Bag presentation is sure to be a huge success.

For more information contact Carol Schulte at 217/206-7686 or email cschu3@uis.edu.

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