Veronica: A Year in Florianopolis & Amman

Veronica Paz Gonzalez is a University of Florida student studying abroad during the Academic Year of 2018-19 in Florianopolis, Brazil and Amman, Jordan.  To learn more about Veronica’s programs, click here: USAC – Florianopolis and CET – Amman (Intensive Arabic Language in Jordan).

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    International Relations focused in the Middle East, Latin American Minor, and International Development and Humanitarian Assistance Minor.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I am originally from Colombia, so I travel back to see family once a year there. I have also visited England, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, and Spain. My family loves to travel, so we have taken family trips to Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Monaco, and Turkey. I have also visited Switzerland multiple times to visit family. I traveled to England, Italy, Switzerland, and Portugal to study abroad in the past. I recently took a trip to Germany with a friend for fun, as we were on our way to Italy for a study abroad.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    Yes, I have studied abroad to Italy, Switzerland, England, Colombia, and Portugal. Since I was in high school, I have had a passion to study abroad, so my first study abroad was when I was fifteen in Italy. I went to study Italian in a small town called Lignano. The year after, I went to Ascona, Switzerland to study Italian once again. Both Italy and Switzerland were only two weeks, as I was still very young in a foreign country. Next, I went for one month to Cambridge, England to take a psychology class and a film class at Cambridge. Because I arrived at a very young age from Colombia, my Spanish writing was not the best. Last summer, I took a month long class in Bogota, Colombia to reinforce my Spanish writing skills. Following Colombia, I went to Portugal to learn Portuguese for one month as well. This summer I did the UF in Sorrento study abroad. I took a History of the Mafia class and did an internship in Naples. My internship was with an NGO organization called LESS. The organization aims to facilitate the arrival and integration of asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants. This study abroad was one month as well.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I will study abroad in Florianpolis, Brazil in the Fall and in Amman, Jordan in the Spring. I choose Florianpolis because I wanted to do a long term immersion in Portuguese and because it looks like a safe and beautiful city. I choose Amman because I once again wanted to be immersed in Arabic and Middle Eastern culture. Again, I looked for safety and interesting things to do and see.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I am looking forward to growing my language skills and building my confidence. These programs will be the longest programs I have done so far, and I want to take advantage of every moment while I am abroad. I want to feel like a local once I leave.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    I enjoy reading non fiction novels, going hiking, hammocking near Lake Alice, and practicing my languages.
  • Anything else you would like us to know about you?
    I am excited to share my thoughts and feelings, but I am also nervous to be vulnerable to an unknown audience. I am excited to mature in this way as well.
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