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Kelsey Quigley

Kelsey Quigley in Peru 

Success Stories

Travis G. - Russia


Education Abroad Program (EAP), Summer 2017

Political Science/International Relations

Going to Russia has long been a dream of mine, and the amount I learned while abroad was incredible. Russian is a critical language to know in the modern world, and it is a skill I have long been aiming to better. By attending this program, I not only fulfilled a dream to travel, but also expanded my opportunities through education and language immersion. While in Russia I attended regular classes which formalized my Russian, but I also went to restaurants, interacted with friends, spoke to vendors, everything which added depth to my skills not only in Russian, but in learning to interact as an international citizen. My experiences in Russia were all amazing, from running around Saint Petersburg to find the next Cathedral I wished to go into, to experiencing the awe-inspiring size of Moscow. With each day, I enhanced what I knew about Russia, and moved forward in my education, and development as a human being. Without the ERC Scholarship, I doubt this would have been possible.

Emily L. - Seoul, Korea

Emily Li

UCEAP Seoul Korea 2017

Public Health

My semester in Seoul was an eye-opening experience. I met new friends from all over the world, struggled in daily conversation, attended the craziest school sports game, and experienced the coldest winter of my life. There are an infinite number of moments that made my study abroad experience special but the one that stands out to me most is the process of adapting to the Korean way of life. Whether it was practicing Korean with the owner of my favorite fried chicken restaurant or conforming to Seoul’s “hurry hurry” culture, I learned to appreciate and respect the differences in culture. Also, the language and history courses that I took gave me a second perspective on Korean and American history. All these new life experiences and interesting classes were unique aspects of my trip that I would not have gotten if I stayed at UCSD. 

While studying abroad, there are countless opportunities to travel to other cities, eat food you’ve never seen before, and learn things that only traveling can teach you. I encourage everyone who has even the slightest intent to study abroad to take the dive. Studying abroad lets you live in a city longer than any vacation, so it allows you to fully immerse yourself in a unique culture and gain more out of it. If it seems easier said than done, advisors and scholarships are there to support you in every step of your adventure!"

I've attached a photo of me in Korea in the traditional Korean dress called hanbok. Also, I started a blog to talk about my study abroad experience, including tips for students about scholarships and daily life in Korea. I will be adding more posts throughout this quarter (

Katie M. - Quito, Ecuador

Katie Mai

Global Seminar Ecuador 2017


I had the greatest time abroad in Ecuador. It has to be one of the best summers of my life and I can’t wait to return. I wanted to go somewhere where I would be surrounded by nature, so naturally, Ecuador was perfect. When I landed at the airport and looked outside, I knew I made the right decision. I was surrounded by grasslands, mountains, and volcanoes. I will not forget the nights spent in the Amazon rainforest. I am going to let you in on a secret. I swung from a rope, jumped into the Rio Napo, and floated down the river. It was so much fun! You will not believe how much flora and fauna exists in Ecuador! After having visited, I feel impassioned to protect its biodiversity. During my stay, I learned about the intersection of culture and education and how it affects child development in the Andes. The Spanish colonization erased much of the indigenous culture. Although Spanish is the main language of Ecuador, the government still recognizes fourteen indigenous languages across the nation. I enjoyed discovering the subtle differences and cultural variations between the many indigenous communities we visited and stayed with throughout Ecuador. I now appreciate the importance of cultural preservation, especially the Andean and indigenous cultures of South America since they are being threatened by Western standards. I left Ecuador a better person—a whole lot more culturally sensitive and aware. There are more cultures in the world that I can fathom, but this is what makes it worth studying abroad—to uncover the beauties that we didn’t know existed. Studying abroad in Ecuador challenged me, but it felt amazing. I had to be independent; I had to speak up. It made me rethink who I was as a person and what my values were. And for this, I am grateful for the ERC Scholarship that helped made this possible.

Valeria M. - Quito, Ecuador

Valeria Moreno

Global Seminar Ecuador 2017

Psychology/Developmental Psychology

Hello, my name is Valeria. I am a 4th year, majoring in Developmental Psychology and minoring in Education Studies. I am a first-generation student and I hope to graduate this coming June. I traveled to Quito, Ecuador, as part of the UCSD Global Seminar. The courses I took centered around how children develop over the course of time and how educational practices play a role in that development. We focused on learning theories from Piaget, Vygotsky, and Rogoff as our framework, to analyze the United States Educational system and Ecuador’s Educational System. We focused both on indigenous community schools and city schools. It was essential in our program to not only learn about theories in our course work, but to experience and learn from the community themselves. This was my first time outside of the United States and it opened my mind and heart to different ways of understanding who I am and other people. Between exploring the Amazon rain forest, caving, visiting Indigenous communities, and exploring the city of Quito, I was less self-conscious, and paid more attention to Mother Nature, different people, food, and my emotions. In many ways, I felt like a child, everything was a learning experiencing and something new to see, hear, touch, smell and taste. 

Thank you!

Andrew P. – South Korea

Andrew Perng

UCEAP South Korea 2017

International Studies: International Business


Are you still hesitating on studying abroad? Maybe this brief writing about my experiences abroad will help ease your mind. Before going to South Korea, I was overwhelmed with a mixture of different emotions, both good and bad. I had relatives and friends who would constantly tell me about the political instability in Korea. Plus, the idea of being alone in a foreign country immensely terrified me. So naturally, before traveling abroad I was nervous about traveling to a foreign place, where I had no one to depend on. However, just plainly stating that studying abroad was my best college experience, would be an understatement. Through the UCEAP program, I experienced a different culture and met people from all over the world, creating a global community. Not only did I interact with local Koreans, I also met people from Australia, Canada, London, and Finland; just to name a few. If I had the chance to study abroad again, I would gratefully accede. The memories and people I met from this trip will forever be one of the biggest highlights in my life. I truly encourage anyone to find the opportunity to study abroad

Kelsey Q. - Lima, Ayacucho, and Cuzco - Peru

Boston University, Summer 2011 

Cognitive Science - Neuroscience

(Not) Understanding Contemporary Peru

I arrived in Lima, Peru on America’s birthday – July 4th, 2011. I cannot recall what I could have possibly expected; I genuinely don’t think that I could expect anything, and certainly nothing like what I experienced.
Boston University’s summer program – “Understanding Contemporary Peru” – is unlike any other study abroad program that I encountered in my research. The program introduces students to three distinct areas and cultures of Peru - Lima, a small Andean city called Ayacucho, and Cuzco. We spent three weeks in Lima studying Spanish composition and literature at Pontifica Universidad Católica del Peru – the most prestigious university in Peru. We lived with host families surrounded by foreign embassies, internationally renowned restaurants, and world-class shopping. We formed strong bonds in such a short amount of time; I genuinely believe that these young Limenos will remain my friends for years to come.
My first encounter of the magnificent Andes in Ayacucho was tainted by the distinct odor of smoke, as it is common practice in Ayacucho to burn one’s trash. The jarring juxtaposition between Lima and Ayacucho is one of the most striking and significant aspects of my experience in this program. In Ayacucho, we studied at Universidad San Crístobal de Huamanga, in a classroom in the Plaza de Armas (the main square) in the city. We lived the past, present, and future of the small Andean city. Celebrating Peruvian Independence Day – or Feliz Patrías– in Ayacucho, the home of newly elected president Ollanta Humala, was one of the most heartwarming, nationalistic experiences of my life. However, beneath the weeks of parades, fireworks every hour, and countless celebratory meals, I saw a city with a deeply troubled past. The class in Ayacucho, taught entirely in Spanish, explored the history and continuing effects of Sendero Luminoso – “the Shining Path” – a Maoist organization that terrifyingly gained power in Peru during the 1980’s – an era known by Peruvians simply as la violencía. Dr. Abimael Guzman, a professor at the Universidad San Crístobal – the movement’s stronghold, founded Sendero. I couldn’t help but think during my classes there I could have been sitting in the very room that Professor Guzman espoused and formulated his plans for violence, terror, and brutal takeover.
As we learned the history of the unimaginable violence and intimidation of Sendero, we also worked with various Non-Governmental Organizations that are still currently working to develop the department of Ayacucho in the wake of such destruction. I worked at an orphanage called Los Gorriones – Casa Hogar in Carmen Alto – one the poorest provinces of Ayacucho. It is an orphanage with around 30 children, many with severe physical and mental disabilities. It was simultaneously the most heartbreaking and heartwarming experience of my life as I met some of the most intelligent, tenacious children I had ever come across. I was deeply affected, for example, a 9-year-old blind boy that could not walk learned to recognize me only by my smell.
I had gained a newfound perspective when comparing my life back at home to a life filled incessantly with the reminder of past violence and turmoil. The principal thing that I have come to understand in “Understanding Contemporary Peru” is that I truly could never understand. The juxtapositions that I encountered called into question most of what defines my existence as an upper-middle-class white American female. Peruanos – despite having experienced decades of indiscriminant violence, are some of the friendliest, warmest, and most welcoming of the entire world.

Nhung (Mindy) T. – New Zealand

Nhung Tran

Global Seminar New Zealand, Summer 2017

Ecology, Behavior & Evolution

Last summer in 2017, I was able to travel out of the country on my own for the first time. I studied abroad in New Zealand through a Global Seminars program. There, I studied MMW 14 (World History) and SIO 45 (Volcanology), and both were geared towards and personalized to New Zealand. I enjoyed learning history from a non-aryan perspective and hiking up dormant volcanoes. I was absolutely stunned by the beauty of New Zealand from its sceneries to the native Maori culture. Our class with Professor Matthew Herbst and Professor Geoffrey Cook explored New Zealand on many excursions throughout the city of Auckland, Rotorua, and Paihia. Don't worry! There was so much free time for individual adventures with friends or on your own. The small class size made getting to know the professors easier, and every student got to know one another closely. There were little moments during the trip that I was glad to be a part of; I remember coming back from a Maori culture show in Rotorua, our bus driver serenaded many classical songs and took us around a round-a-about at least 10 times! We laughed hard and had so much fun that night. We also learned to sing a love song in Maori, and I just thought how incredible that we were able to sing the song within an hour and learn its history. As the Maori teacher strummed the guitar, our class stood together and harmonized "Pokarekare Ana", and this was so moving and emotional that some students, including myself, started tearing up. These strong bonds and friendships I have made throughout this trip are ones I value indefinitely. The memories that I was able to share with the students and professors are unparalleled and I am glad that I took the initiative to study abroad. 


For me personally, I would not have been able to study abroad on my own without any financial assistance. However, I knew strongly that I wanted to study abroad and did not let finance hinder me from this opportunity. I knew that studying abroad could be heavily burdensome for my parents financially, so I saved up money I made from work-study, applied for summer financial aid, and pursued study abroad scholarships to help me fund my education. With the ERC Study Abroad scholarship and other financial aid, I was able to make my education abroad loans-free without having my parents pay any part of it. It is one of my proudest achievements. I believe that if there is something you are passionate about, you will always figure out ways to make it happen. 

Anahit T. - Dublin, Ireland


Global Seminar, Summer 2017

International Studies - International Business

From a young age, I have always pictured myself studying abroad during my college career; UCSD has turned those childhood aspirations into my reality. I had the opportunity to study British politics in Dublin, Ireland for five weeks this summer. I took POLI103 and 120 which fulfilled the requirements for my International Business major. As a student, I felt that I was better able to retain information by experiencing my professor’s lectures first-hand when visiting historical sites rather than solely listening to him inside of a classroom. Being able to study what was right in front of me was incredible. I visited many popular sites, other cities, and breathtaking museums which helped me better understand the coursework for my class and the European culture overall. I met a vast diversity of people in Ireland and England, and made a few unforgettable friends as well. 

To students who are considering studying abroad, I highly recommend it. Students should not be discouraged if their desired program is too costly; UCSD offers many scholarships and aids that can help significantly. I believe students who travel abroad to study make well-rounded and open-minded humans who are more understanding of their surroundings because they learn to adapt to new cultures and lifestyles while learning new material for their course.


Bradley W. - Santiago, Chile

Education Abroad Program (EAP), Fall 2011

Sociocultural Anthropology

I have been in Chile for just less than two months and it is still difficult for me to internalize my experience so far.  Each day is something new and exciting!  In a city the size of Santiago there is never a lack of new adventures and with a country as geographically diverse as Chile there is always a different site to see and a new place to explore.  Beyond the adventure, the academic value of studying in Santiago is undeniable.  With courses in Spanish, I am pushed beyond my comfort zone and made to think even more creatively and critically.  Furthermore, the dramatic and powerful student movement occurring here only provokes more thought on my role as a UCSD student and the similar difficulties that we face in California.  It teaches me to look beyond the text of my book, beyond the beauty and excitement of travel and truly focus on the issues that grip our lives, across borders and cultures.  In plain spoken words, I have only been abroad for a short time, but the lessons that I am learning and the experiences that I am living are invaluable; they are unreachable from the classrooms of UCSD and they will incalculably improve the breadth of my university career.  I highly recommend studying abroad for any student that wishes to expand their knowledge beyond the mere equations and words of their textbooks and truly apply their academic understanding to real life.

Tamara W. - Sydney, Australia

tamara ward

UCEAP Sydney, Australia, 2017

Political Science

My name is Tamara and I got the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Sydney Australia at University of New South Wales. I tried to make the most of my opportunity and learn about how a parliamentary democracy works compared to our presidential democracy. It was really great to learn different perspectives on global issues. On weekends I got to go surfing in Maroubra and Bondi beaches. I enjoyed hiking, especially in the Blue Mountains. It took me a while but finally found Kangaroos in the wild. At the end of my semester I got to go scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Besides all the fun activities, it was just amazing to immerse myself in a new country and learn about a different culture.