Unanticipated Opportunities

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PIRE has opened up many opportunities for us. Some were expected, but there has been so much more that I didn't see coming. While the PIRE partnerships are important for bridging gaps between universities around the world, it is just as important to bring together different people and disciplines. It creates a well-rounded scholar and a multicultural individual. With this experience, I feel as though I can take on anything.


Expected:
I knew I would be challenged as a researcher and linguistics student. I knew I would have to adapt to a new university and research system.

Unexpected:
I never thought that everyone here at the Universidad de Granada would be so welcoming and helpful. We needed to share space and equipment and never once did I feel as though I was in the way or unwanted. My coworkers became good friends, and for that, I am very grateful.


Expected:
I would learn more about handling research abroad and I would be challenged by running my research entirely in Spanish.

Unexpected:
Participants were very kind and truly interested in our research. They came on time, were organized, thoughtful, and interested in the study. I never in my wildest imagination thought that we would double our original goal. We were able to run 60 participants on the eye-tracking equipment.


Expected:
I would be working in the psychology department and I would be exposed to some psychology research as well as their graduate program.

Unexpected:

In a few weeks I will be taking the GRE and applying to graduate programs. This PIRE program has prepared me, an undergrad, for graduate student life. Living with graduate students and working with them has taught me more about the process.. It was not only a great look into psychology, but at graduate life in general. Not to mention, living with and befriending educated scholars leads to elevated conversation on linguistics and cognitive processes.


Expected:
I would like Spain very much, and I would improve my Spanish. I honestly expected to continuously confuse Spanish and Italian in my head.

Unexpected:
My speaking and listening Spanish skills have expanded exponentially. I have a whole new confidence level when speaking Spanish. I now have (much more) control over whether I speak Spanish or Italian. (Which was put to the test last weekend when I went to Italy to visit my family). The PIRE program has allowed me to improve my practical use of Spanish in everyday conversation, but I now have a handle on the scholarly aspect of Spanish and the ability to describe my research in detail. I have fallen in love with the south of Spain, especially Granada.


Expected:
It would be bitter-sweet to leave. I would grow to enjoy the city, the people, the food, and the culture

Unexpected:
I'm already trying to plan a time to come back. I love the tranquil nature here and I can't wait to venture back. I will enjoy the last week here immensely, as I have enjoyed every day in Granada.


I have learned so much and I have sincerely grown as a student in a scholarly way. The positive impact of the PIRE program is unmeasurable, but I can honestly say that I will leave with good friends, strong Spanish language skills, a true understanding of linguistics research abroad, and Granada in my heart.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lauren Perrotti published on June 17, 2011 5:45 AM.

The Final Stretch was the previous entry in this blog.

Final Week in Granada: A Reflection is the next entry in this blog.

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