¿Cómo te va? My name is Julian Garcia. I am from San Antonio, Texas and am currently attending Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. I am wrapping up my time there, as I will be a senior this year. As I write this, I am waiting for a flight back home outside of Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport. I have been in Tanzania for two months now working as an intern with the Diocese of Central Tanganyika (DCT). The internship was in Dodoma, Tanzania’s national capital city. With the great help of DCT’s development department, I created and administered a household food security survey that concentrated on farmers’ grain storage techniques in three villages located just outside of Dodoma. The time spent there was my first long-term international opportunity, and I could not have asked for anything better. It was an extremely holistic experience in terms of conducting development fieldwork, making cross-cultural adaptations, and fostering future relationships between DCT and Cornell University.
As I leave one continent and head for another, I am certainly having mixed feelings of eagerness, anxiety, and of course excitement. Acclimating to several aspects of Tanzanian culture that differ from what I am accustomed to in the United States took some time. The experience was an excellent introduction to making necessary cross-cultural adaptations to my everyday life though. Furthermore, I did not speak a lick of Swahili before going to Tanzania, and consequently had some trouble with language barriers quite frequently. However, I speak some Spanish (más o menos) so I am confident that everyday interactions will go more smoothly in Ecuador and the Galápagos. With that said, I am really hoping to improve my Spanish comprehension and speaking skills during my time abroad. I don’t hesitate to ask questions (and in some cases, I probably ask too many) and I am always enthusiastic about learning languages.
Since my freshman year I have had hopes of studying abroad, and now in my senior year the time is here! As an International Agriculture and Rural Development major, I would like to eventually work in Latin America focusing on sustainable agriculture, economic development, and/or resource management. Therefore, IES Abroad’s program through the Universidad San Francisco de Quito seemed to be an ideal opportunity for my academic development and future career path. In addition to improving my Spanish, I hope to gain further academic and applied knowledge in a place as remarkable and fragile as Ecuador and the Galápagos. I do hope that this incredible opportunity to study abroad will conclude my time as an undergraduate in the best way possible.
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<div>Hi there all! My name Julian Garcia and I was proudly born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. I am in my senior year at Cornell University studying International Agriculture and Rural Development with interests in sustainable cropping systems and economic development. In my free time, you can find me hiking in the Adirondacks, spelunking 100 feet underground in a cave, trying to cook up something tasty, or reading a Hemingway novel. I hope you enjoy the blog!</div>