CAS '20

Alia Schechter

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SA: University of Los Andes

Program Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): University of Los Andes, Colombia

Ask me about...

  • Petitioning a study abroad program at Penn

  • Taking classes entirely in Spanish

  • Doing legal research in one of my classes in Spanish

My Experience Abroad:

I petitioned to go abroad to Colombia and study at the Universidad de los Andes to study the armed conflict with the FARC, and how the peace agreement signed in 2016 is being implemented. All the classes I took whilst abroad were somehow related to this theme and counted toward my international relations concentration in the Political Science major. The four classes I took abroad helped me gain a stronger grasp of the political system and climate in Colombia, and the many intricacies of ending an almost 60-year civil war.

Other Highlights:

  • The academics at the university. I loved all of my classes because they were challenging and gave me a refreshing outlook on politics outside of the U.S.

  • I had the opportunity to travel a lot inside Colombia (I didn't leave the country during the semester) and loved everywhere I went. In particular, I loved my fall break trip to the Amazon!

  • Especially because I went to Colombia alone, I met so many new people that have had very different experiences from my own. This includes both the friendships I made with Colombian students at the Universidad de los Andes and the 200+ exchange students that were also abroad.

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