Kelly McPhail
Elementary, Special Education
Class of 2011
King's Faculty-Led Program
Canto Grande & Lima, Peru

How did you select your Study/Intern Abroad location?

I heard about the short-term (3-week) study abroad program to Peru though the study abroad office.

Why did you want to study or intern abroad?

I wanted to study abroad because I have never been to South America and I wanted to experience the culture.

What were the highlights of this experience?

The highlights of studying abroad were the people I met and interacted with. The culture as a whole is very welcoming, and the people I came across were very friendly.

What surprised you the most?

I had never had a conversation in Spanish before this trip, and I was surprised how easy it became to communicate with people and understand what they were trying to say. It is amazing how much a person can understand from another even though there is a language barrier.

How has (or how might) this experience affect your major and future career?

I am an elementary and special education major, and while I was in Peru we visited a local elementary school and interacted with the children there. It is important to understand a student's culture in order to understand where they are coming from. I learned first-hand that due to cultural and domestic issues, most of those children just wanted to feel special and important. These lessons I learned there will definitely stay with me and affect the way I view each of my future students.

What would you tell students considering studying or interning abroad?

Any person considering studying abroad should definitely do it! The most important thing is to know what you are looking for in a program and what type of experience you want to get out of it. This was my second time studying abroad, and this experience was completely different from my first one and in all good ways.

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