Julian Wise

Colby College

Having taken a gap year to Uruguay in 2012, the Middlebury program gave me the opportunity to return and reconnect with the small South American country that I love so much. Direct enrollment in private university (ORT) and an internship at a well-known NGO (CEFIR) were just two of the benefits I enjoyed during the semester. Unlike many study abroad programs, Middlebury encourages cultural assimilation with host family placement and a language pact to only speak Spanish. The program coordinator, Sylvia, is a wonderful human being and she couldn’t have been more helpful during the entire experience. Before long, everyone in my program was speaking Spanish well and interacting with Uruguayans. Between afternoons of mate (South American tea), watching/playing soccer, and long walks on the beautiful rambla, each day was well spent. Time flew by and leaving was the hardest part but I am already planning my return to the slice of heaven between Argentina and Brazil.