Hi everyone! My name is Perrin Larkin and I am an International Relations/Spanish double major at the Capstone. In about a week, I will be departing for Antigua, Guatemala with Dr. Hale on the UA in Guatemala program, which I decided was perfect for me for a couple of reasons.
First, as a faculty-led program, I will not have to deal with transferring credits. I took many AP and CLEP exams and do not want to risk any issues with attempting to apply too many transferred credits to my International Relations major.
Second, the classes. I will be taking condensed versions of Politics of Developing Nations and Politics of Latin America — classes that I would be glad to take in Tuscaloosa, so why not in Antigua?
And finally, location, location, location. Antigua is an ancient city that for hundreds of years served as the New World capital of the Spanish empire. It has a rich history that is evident in even as little time as a walk to a coffee shop. Additionally, as an urban center in Guatemala, the primary language spoken is Spanish, but it is Spanish that I believe will be perfect for a first-time immersion. I have always found Central America/Northern South America’s Spanish accents much less intimidating than the Spanish spoken in the Caribbean, Spain, or the Southern Cone.
Since I have not spoken Spanish since my classes in the Spring semester, I have been throwing myself into the language in other ways to prepare for my trip. I watched several shows in Spanish and purchased two novels in Spanish from a used book store. To top it off, I’ve done cursory research into Guatemalan and general slang, since the Spanish taught as a second language is quite formal.