ISEP Founder's Fellowship Student Update

November 21, 2017

Ryan Torres, a previous winner of the ISEP Founder’s Fellowship accounts his gratitude. Ryan is from Fort Lewis College and is currently studying abroad at Universidad Americana in Nicaragua.

The ISEP Founders Fellowship has been a great help. It has taken away a lot of the burden of paying for my study abroad experience.

Studying abroad has brought about many successes and unforgettable experiences. I have made great friends - both other ISEP students and local students. I have enjoyed fantastic trips. I have an incredible eight week break between the two semesters (December 15-February 15), and with some of the money I bought tickets to explore Panama, Peru and Colombia for a week each while abroad! In three weeks I am going on a hiking trip to an active volcano where I can try volcano boarding! Additionally, I committed to a weekly volunteer opportunity at a local children’s hospital which has been both emotionally trying and so rewarding.

There have of course been challenges as well. The language barrier has been one. The Nicaraguan people speak a very different Spanish than I have ever heard. They don’t pronounce vowels and completely ignore the ’s’ in words. It has been difficult to get used to but it’s slowly coming along. I have also learned that you just need to put your ego away and be okay with people laughing at your mistakes. Just know that every time someone corrects you that you’re learning something new and eventually it will pay off. Overall, my experience has been phenomenal and it wouldn’t be possible without the Founders Fellowship.

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