Help Ariana Study Abroad in Argentina

Ariana Peña Start Date: Oct 10, 2015 - End Date: Feb 6, 2016
  • Buenos Aires, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina

My Travel Story

by: Ariana Peña Start Date: Oct 10, 2015 - End Date: Feb 6, 2016
As a first generation college student at Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont, studying abroad was not a well-understood concept or opportunity for me; it was always something I heard other people talking about and planning for, but with limited financial resources and knowledge of the planning process, I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to do the same.

All of the opportunities that I have been given, especially going to college and studying abroad, emerged from the sacrifices that my family has made for me throughout, and preceding, my life. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have enjoyed over these past two years at St. Mike’s, but I have found it very difficult to be an ethnic-minority student at a private, liberal arts university from a lower socioeconomic background.

I am currently maximizing all of my available financial aid resources for the Fall 2015 academic semester and to subsidize the expenses for my Spring 2016 study abroad experience. However, given my family’s difficult financial circumstances, I must still work two jobs on top of attending classes full-time to cover my out-of-pocket tuition, books, food and living expenses, and travel costs each semester to/from Los Angeles, California where my family lives.

Studying abroad is an important experience to me because it represents an opportunity that most people in my family were never able to receive, much less fathom about. It will help me become a more culturally- and globally-aware citizen, which is crucial for combatting political, social, economic and environmental injustices throughout the world. Study abroad experiences foster valuable language, cultural and thinking skills that translate directly in a personal and professional setting.

Considering its rich media market and cosmopolitan lifestyle, I have chosen to study abroad in Buenos Aires, the social heart and soul of Argentina and home to Canal 13, the second most popular television station in Buenos Aires and the well-respected newspaper publication, Buenos Aires Herald. Argentina’s history in journalism censorship under the Peron dictatorship and its emergence as a recent conglomerate in the media market makes Argentina an ideal location to study abroad as a media studies, digital arts and journalism major. Argentina serves as one of South America’s leading media markets with over 200 daily newspapers, hundreds of commercial radio stations and dozens of television stations. Studying abroad in this thriving city will allow me to examine the heavy influence media has on the Argentine culture and the differences between media in Latin America and the United States.

Becoming fluent in Spanish during my time in Buenos Aires is also among one of my biggest priorities. Growing up as a non-Spanish speaking latina, it has hindered the ways in which I am able to connect with some of my own family members and certain aspects of my own cultural heritage. This full-immersion study abroad experience in a Spanish-speaking country is vital to obtaining a working knowledge of the language in a personal and professional setting. It will enhance my future employment prospects and expand the ways in which I can serve people through ethical and accurate media and journalistic platforms.

After my international studies program is completed, I will have been the third person in my immediate and extended family to have studied abroad, and that is something that I am already so proud to think of. I hope that with your guy’s help, I will be able to raise enough funds to cover the costs of my flights and the additional living expenses that I will need to sustain my time in Argentina.

Thank you.
  • Buenos Aires, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina