Study Abroad Bloggers: Profiles

This semester’s study abroad bloggers are Nadine Peterson, Molly Turner and MacKenna Palazza. They will be reporting back to the Truman Media Network about their experiences in Uruguay, Mexico and Finland. Read their bios and check back for their first blog posts in September.


Version 2Name: Nadine Peterson

Grade: Junior

Location: Montevideo, Uruguay

University: Universidad Católica de Uruguay

Reasons for choosing country: I am a Spanish major and have been studying Spanish for 10 years. I visited Perú a couple years ago and knew that I wanted to go back to South America, but also experience a new part of the continent. Something that attracts me about studying abroad is the opportunity to leave the familiar behind, so I wanted to go to a country that I didn’t know well, and Uruguay seemed like the perfect choice.

Most nervous about: I am a little anxious about integrating with the new Uruguayan culture. I know that it might be easier to make friends with Americans or even international students, but I think to truly know the country I should try and get to know its people.

Most excited about: El español I can’t wait to speak Spanish and improve. I love learning the different words that are particular to Uruguay. I am also looking forward to traveling and seeing the beautiful beaches and countryside that Uruguay has to offer.

Hope to learn: I would like to grow in my abilities and confidence concerning speaking Spanish. I also hope to understand Uruguayan culture and learn some new things about the way people live life there.



Molly TurnerName: Molly Turner

Grade: Senior

Location: Guadalajara, México

University: Universidad de Autónoma de Guadalajara

Reason for choosing country: When I was in 10th grade, my family hosted Andrea De’ Orta–an exchange student from México. She became one of my best friends. After she to returned home, I switched from studying French to studying Spanish. Ever since then, I have absolutely loved the challenge that has come with learning the language and culture. México has a special place in my heart thanks to Andrea and the De’ Orta family, and as I began to learn more and more about the country, I came to realize this was undoubtedly the place for me.

Most looking forward to: I am most looking forward to being immersed into the culture of Guadalajara, México. I know that I will make many new friends and have unforgettable moments and experiences, and that is certainly something to look forward to.

Hope to learn:I am hoping this study abroad trip solidifies my fluency to a business and working proficiency so I may have the opportunity to enjoy speaking Spanish upon entering the job world and throughout the rest of my life.



MacKenna PalazzaName: MacKenna Palazza

Grade: Junior

Location: Jyväskylä, Finland

University: University of Jyväskylä

Reason for choosing country: The study abroad office encouraged me to apply to multiple countries, including ones whose national language is not English. Finland seemed like it had a lot to offer, such as its beautiful scenes and nature. It’s also nice that most people there can speak English, so I hopefully won’t be totally lost.

Most nervous about: I’m most nervous about being in a different country where the national language is not English because I think I will have a hard time navigating public transportation and finding my way around. In previous travels, I have always been very independent, so it’s hard to realize that I’m going to need to ask a lot of people to help me find my way instead of just figuring it out on my own.

Most looking forward to: I am really looking forward to visiting northern Finland to hopefully camp and see the Aurora Borealis.

Hope to learn: I hope to learn a lot more about myself, which seems to be the case every time I travel, and I hope to learn a lot about Finland and other cultures by meeting new people. I think it’s easiest to learn about a new place through the people as opposed to whatever you might find online. I was lucky to meet someone from Finland studying abroad at Truman last year. We got along well, which leads me think the country and others that live there are very kind.