Elise Boehm talks to Edie Kirk about her decision to study abroad in Cuba and what it was like once she got there. She shares stories about where she went and what she did but also how the people there made her feel more confident speaking Spanish.
My sophomore year at Umass Amherst I decided to go study abroad in Cuba and everything I would say went pretty well. You know one of the first things we did when everybody was there was we got to ride the ya know old-school classic Cuba cars. Which was I think one of the coolest things ya know we could have done. We took a ride around Havana just sightseeing ya know we got to take pictures with the car, in the car, outside of the car and it was a lot of fun. It was probably one of the best memories I have ya know when we were all like in the cars side by side, we were just like recording taking videos ya know I think the most important lesson that I learned is that even though I was scared of trying something new ya know I am glad that I did it and that I didn't let the fear of trying something new get in the way of me experiencing this great opportunity I think some of the best memories I have are when I push myself out of my comfort zone and just try something new ya know I am grateful that despite this being scary, being away in a completely different country and traveling alone I didn't let that fear get in my way I started to ya know feel more confident as time went on I mean I push myself to try some new things I was very grateful for that and I guess another thing that I was I guess happy with was that I got to get away from internet and what was happening back home because where we were at theres no internet so if we wanted to use the internet we would have to walk a few blocks to the nearest hotel and we would have to sit there and we would have to buy an internet card and put it in our phones and they we would have internet for how ever many minutes and so then thats how we communicate with the people back home and ya know go on social media and everything you would do on the internet and I think that ya know that being so far away and us not having like internet readily accessible was a great experience because its like we werent focused on like what was happening back home, what people were posting, what we were posting and so it was a way that we could fully embrace the experience and just be in the culture be in Cuba without adding these extra distractions ya know we really got to really experience it and i think that is one thing that I am proud of is that i dont think anyone on that trip really complained about the difficulties of getting internet because we were all having such a good time we were always busy or finding something to do whether it be going to classes, or going to the beach, going to the museum ya know we were constantly busy we had these field trips that we would go on so i think it was definitely a good experience overall