Hispanic Heritage Month Feature: Bryan Lopez Villanueva
Q&A WITH Bryan Lopez Villanueva
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Education Abroad is featuring our Hispanic/Latinx study abroad alumni and sharing their stories and experiences with the UNC Charlotte community.
Meet our next student!
Bryan Lopez Villanueva
Junior, Finance Major, Martin Scholar
- Why did you choose to study abroad? I chose to study abroad because I wanted to learn more about International Business and how culture affects business practices.
- Where did you study abroad and what program? Florence, Italy. The Belk College of Business Summer Study Abroad Program (a Faculty Led program).
- How would you describe your overall experience abroad? I had a great time and learned a lot about Italian culture. As a Latino, it was a big change since there are not many Latin people in Europe. It was interesting to learn first hand how long and complex Italian history is. I gained a newfound appreciation for history and how that can have a big impact on modern culture. I also learned how different Europeans are from Americans.
- Did you experience any challenges connected to your personal identity while abroad? One challenge I did face was not seeing other Latino people. There were a lot of different people from Europe and I did see some people from Spain, but that is not the same as Latinos. Oddly enough, I encountered about the same amount of people who spoke Spanish as the amount that spoke English.
- Do you have any advice for other Hispanic/Latinx students considering study abroad? Definitely, Hispanic/Latinx students should apply for scholarships and speak with the EA office beforehand. For students who have no experience traveling, it can often be very scary to travel to a new country. I know for me, I chose to attend a faculty-led program because I felt more comfortable traveling with the guidance of UNC Charlotte Faculty. I was able to ask questions and text the Professor directly during the length of the program. I know for many Hispanic/Latinx students, funding for these programs can also be an issue. Fortunately, there are lots of scholarships out there to apply for. I suggest for students to apply and seek guidance from the EA Office. I know for me, I was able to study abroad with my program being fully-funded by scholarships.