Hola! My name is Ivan Ureña-Valdes and I'm a 3rd International Relations and Applied Statistics double major. As an international relations major I have learned so much about our amazing world so I knew I had to go see it firsthand. For me, that meant getting on a plane to Cusco, Peru.
Studying abroad in Cusco has been one of the best decisions I have made during my college career. The course I took conveniently counted for my major but it was such an incredible history class that taught me about the Andean region. It was the first time I'd ever learned about a place then stepped outside and seen exactly what had just been talked about in lecture. Not to mention the baffling Incan empire and their stonework that still stands today. For me, it was the absolute best way to learn because I am such a hands on person.
Aside from the amazing academics, getting to explore a new city and experiencing the culture with a big group of friends was the most fun I've had in college, hands down. Waking up and finding a bakery and cafe to go to or experiencing the nightlife were just some of my favorite things to do in the city of Cusco. We also arrived right in the middle of the biggest religious festival of the year so we stood right there with locals and watched all the processions in the main plaza, something I will truly never forget.
Studying abroad enriched my college experience and I can honestly say there is no better way to learn than by fully diving into the experience. Take in all the sights, smells, sounds, and experience what it's like to be in that part of the world. I hope I can help anyone who wishes to study abroad find a perfect program for them just like I found mine. And for anyone who is even remotely considering studying abroad, I hope I can convince you that UC Davis Study Abroad is the next place on campus you should visit to learn all about how these experiences can change your life!