Immersed in Latin America
Gilman Scholar Yanessy Peña ’14 will spend the fall semester in Buenos Aires
by Christine Baksi
June 13, 2012
“The most effective way to learn a language is to be immersed in the culture,” says Yanessy Peña ’14, pictured in Málaga, Spain, where she studied in a summer-immersion program. The Gilman Scholarship will defray the costs of her return abroad to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Yanessy Peña ’14, a political-science and Latin American, Latino & Caribbean studies major from the Bronx, N.Y., has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to pursue academic studies abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the fall 2012 semester.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a congressionally funded program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which supports and prepares students of limited financial means to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.
Peña, a Posse Foundation Scholar, will study the Spanish language and Argentina’s political and cultural landscape through an internship, field excursions, service learning and seminars offered by the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) Advanced Spanish Immersion Program.
“I’ll gain unique cultural exposure and international work experience by learning through the community,” says Peña, who will live with a host family during her six months abroad. “This is a great way to become immersed in the Argentine culture.”
Last spring, Peña studied through the Málaga Summer Immersion program at the Universidad de Málaga, Spain. She is currently interning with the Office of the Bronx Borough President researching policy briefs and writing reports on local and social issues affecting the borough.
Peña says her internship and experiences abroad have inspired career plans. “My dream is to have a career in Latin American diplomacy. I want to help maintain peace and continue fostering good relations between the U.S. and Latin American countries.”