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IES: Santiago, Chile, Politics, Social Justice & Language
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Jaagrit Randhawa

Liberal Arts Major(s): Spanish
Other Major: Marketing
Minor: Sustainability Leadership
Hometown: Cheswick, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of the experience was learning about the lifestyle and values of Chileans and being allowed into their homes and family gatherings. I had a host mom who took care of me like I was her own daughter. She took me to her family lunches where I learned about family dynamics, values and stories. My host mom was a very active 76 year old woman, and we spent time making jewelry, visiting orchestra concerts, baking, and discussing many political topics. She gave me insight into the Chilean viewpoint on topics such as American politics, Latin American society, and Chilean society.

The best part of the experience was learning about the lifestyle and values of Chileans and being allowed into their homes and family gatherings

How did this experience impact you academically?

Before walking into this experience, I had the goal of becoming fluent in the Spanish language; within the first few days of arriving, I realized that it was an ambitious goal and I would have to work hard to achieve it. However, around halfway through the semester, I began to understand conversations and participate in them without having to rely on mental translation. I was really excited as I neared the end of the semester and realized that I was able to understand a Chilean speaker as they spoke Spanish and an English speaker as they spoke English with equal comprehension. I overcame my fear of speaking and also found myself telling stories conversationally which was what I had hoped for out of this experience. I also learned to read dense news stories, books and articles in Spanish without having to constantly rely on a translator app or a dictionary.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

This experience taught me that I am interested in pursuing a career outside of the United States or possibly working within a multinational organization that supports Latin American consumers. As a marketer, I know that this is an exciting time to be in this field because of the plethora of tools available to today's marketers that allow them to reach and communicate directly with new segments of consumers, including Hispanics, through digital tools. With my new cultural knowledge of Chile and understanding of Latin values, I believe I can create content and reach these populations within the United States with messaging specific to them.

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