Undergraduate Anthropology Major, M. Grace Gimbel, Awarded Hicks Scholarship
Last Summer, Grace went to study abroad in Peru. Read her account of the experience, and see some amazing pictures of her travels below:
"Stepping off the plane in Cusco I looked around and took a deep breath of thin, mountain air. Terracotta roofs dotted the city, church steeples soared toward the sky, but most magnificent – the Andes Mountains! Taking in the view I told myself that I was going to take advantage of every opportunity and enjoy every last minute of my study abroad experience. Excitement twirled inside me until I felt I was going to burst. From that moment on, Peru never ceased to amaze and excite me.
Every weekend I traveled to a different area in Peru, including Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Valley and Pisaq, Machu Picchu, the Amazon jungle and Puerto Maldonado, the Paracas desert, and even the Islas Ballestas! Because of Peru’s unique landscape, I was able to experience diverse terrains and environments, such as the jungle, mountain, desert, coastal, lake, and semi-tropical areas. With each new place, I gained valuable knowledge of the area, the people, and the history of the region.
When I was not exploring new places, I was in Cusco attending school. Life in Cusco was slow and laid back. Every morning I began my day with bread and a hot cup of coca mate, or coca tea. After breakfast, I would catch a taxi to school and attend classes for four hours each day. A few friends and I would spend the afternoons exploring the city or taking walks through San Blas (my favorite neighborhood, which was the original ancient Inca city!) and meeting locals. Dinner was my favorite part of the day. I could spend time with my Peruvian family and practice my Spanish. I gained insightful knowledge about Peruvian culture and history through dinner conversation. It was an experience I could have never understood by reading a book or attending a lecture.
My interest in anthropology, and specifically archaeology, was fueled by my travel experiences in Peru. Studying internationally opened my eyes to different aspects of life, culture, and ideas. I encourage every student to take the opportunity to travel internationally and see the world. I would like to express my gratitude towards the anthropology department for making my dream of studying abroad a reality. "