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

  1. 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.
  2. Where did you study abroad and what program? Florence, Italy. The Belk College of Business Summer Study Abroad Program (a Faculty Led program).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.