Possessing Language

“No way, I can’t go to the store by myself! My Spanish is not that good…no one will understand me! Please come with me!” I blurted this out to my friend Zaq in my hotel room before heading out to get some more toothpaste. He gave me a rosy smile and said “No, I know you can do it.” I shook my head. I put on my shoes. I made my way towards the door after sucking my teeth. I …

How to Be a Yuma

After nearly two semesters studying in Cuba, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about and take part in many amazing aspects of Cuban culture. While two semesters is not nearly enough to fully understand a different space and context, it has given me a more detailed snapshot than I would have had otherwise. One of the most interesting experiences I’ve had this past academic year is having been able to observe the relationship between Cuban nationals and foreign tourists. As …

Exploring Identity Through the Cuban Market

It’s weird to think that this is about the time that Amherst students have their spring break. I’m eagerly awaiting mine which comes in the middle of April; apparently we are going on a cross-country trip to Santiago de Cuba! Until then, I’ve been finding little ways to make my semester full of new experiences. Recently, I have taken to visiting different fruit and street markets in order to buy daily produce and household food staples, such as plantains, vegetables, …

Being a Visiting Student at the University of Oxford

posted in: Benjamin in England | 2

  Being an international student feels very different, and I believe that my United States identity shapes much of my existence in the United Kingdom. Many Oxford students have travelled to the United States and are familiar with at least one North American city. British students typically inquire about United States politics and the country’s university system. Occasionally, I find it difficult to adjust to British culture, where people often speak more directly than in North America. From my experience, visiting students also …