Skip to main content

Sofia Lesnewski

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: English and Comparative Literature/Hispanic Literatures and Cultures/Social and Economic Justice
Program: Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Location: Quito, Ecuador
Term: Spring 2022


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I decided to study abroad because I wanted to expand my knowledge and experiences beyond the U.S. Although I had traveled internationally prior to study abroad, I did so as a tourist, interacting with the countries I visited in a way that often felt superficial. I wanted to immerse myself in another place and culture in a manner that would allow me to question and develop my own perspectives and self-understanding. This led me to Universidad San Francisco de Quito. The opportunity to directly enroll at a university, where I would take classes entirely in Spanish with Ecuadorian students, was truly exciting. I also liked that the program included a homestay, so I would speak Spanish at home as well as at school.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I am much more independent than I had thought. I also learned more about my own privilege, particularly how it operates as a white woman from the U.S. in Latin America.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from my program is a spontaneous trip to Guayaquil with my friends! We went to the beach and then to a concert, and for me that experience represents the joy and adventure I felt in Ecuador.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
I would tell future students who may face uncertainties while they are abroad that the experience is what you make out of it. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can, and I am confident that you will find a sense of belonging. If your uncertainties are rooted in deeper mental and/or emotional unrest, definitely seek help through university resources and/or your friends and family.


Travel Image Travel Image Travel Image Travel Image Travel Image