Emily Augenbraun '20 is a Spanish major and Latin American, Iberian, and Latina/o Studies minor who studied abroad in Lima, Perú, last semester. Through the IFSA Butler program, Emily studied at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, where she took classes on culture and literature, including a class on Peruvian social reality.
“Going to Perú allowed me to gain new insights from my Peruvian peers regarding both Spanish and Latin American literature as well as cultural elements. I now have an even greater appreciation for Latin American culture thanks to the many experiences I had during my time in Perú,” says Emily.
Despite the transition from a small liberal arts college to a large university, Emily enjoyed becoming friends with Peruvian students and hearing their perspectives on the country’s history and culture. Emily’s courses complemented her major and minor studies, as she enhanced her knowledge of Latin American literature and culture.
Outside the classroom, she further refined her Spanish language skills in an immersive environment.
“Living in Lima really challenged me to put my Spanish to use on a daily basis, as I was constantly surrounded by the language, whether it was during a bus ride to go from my house in Miraflores to the local university or buying food from a street vendor.”
In Miraflores, Emily lived with a host family whose kindness and welcoming nature eased her transition into life abroad.
“I was lucky enough to have an incredible host family in Lima that made me feel right at home. I had the opportunity to try so many delicious home-cooked meals and a variety of exotic fruits that we don’t have in the states.”
In addition to trying new cuisine, Emily learned about Peruvian culture through visits to Machu Picchu, archaeological sites, and local museums, such as the Lima Art Museum and the Museo Larco, which specializes in pre-Colombian art. After an intriguing class discussion on Perú’s revolutionary movements, Emily visited the museum El Lugar de la Memoria, la Tolerancia y la Inclusión Social, or The Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion.
“I was thinking about how we recuperate memories of the past and the importance of looking back at the past in order to be able to reflect on history and ultimately improve for the future. Despite the difficulty of looking back at the ugly parts of a country’s history, it is ultimately what helps us to be well informed about society. Going to El Lugar de la Memoria was a very enriching experience, as I was able to enhance my understanding of Perú’s past through the photographs I saw and the audios that I heard.”
These experiences broadened Emily’s knowledge of Latin American history, literature, and society, which will benefit her study of Spanish and LAILS at Bryn Mawr.