Andy Lantz

Andy Lantz


Andy Lantz

2016


Major - Hispanic Studies

Study Abroad program - Graduate Research

Countries visited - Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Italy, Spain, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina

Post-Study Abroad - I went to live in Mexico because of an undergraduate professor’s recommendation. When I told him I was thinking about eventually going to graduate school, he suggested I go live in a Spanish-speaking country for a year to really nail down my language skills. That was all I needed to hear. After all my travels I have now achieved near-native Spanish fluency. 

I went into college wanting to major in Math, but I ended up minoring in it. My experience in Peru solidified my focus in Spanish, since being in a Spanish-speaking country changes your perspective on a language. I have always wanted to teach, and I want to continue traveling and possibly lead study abroad programs within my academic career.
 

Brief:

The chance to see how others live changes your own life. I met so many great people around the world and everyone is so open and friendly. It’s also practical: learning a language makes you smarter, more in touch with current events, more compassionate and self-aware.

Bottom line: there is no reason not to study abroad. Do it. Just go abroad and be open to saying yes…well, within reason. Get out of Texas. It’s a big state, but there’s a whole world out there and so many students have no idea what they’re missing.
 
In January of 2005 I spent a month in Peru during the J-term session. I took a Spanish class in Trujillo and also traveled to Lima and Huaráz. Then in January of 2006 I went to Mexico for an Education course in and around Puebla, similar to student teaching. The following Spring of 2006 I went abroad to Quito, Ecuador with IES.

After graduating, I took one and half years off from school, one of them living in Querétaro, Mexico, teaching Math. I entered Texas A&M in Fall 2009, and then traveled to Italy for six weeks during the Summer of 2012. Hispanic Studies requires program candidates to know a third language (besides Spanish and English), so I chose Italian. In the summer of 2013 I attended a conference in Madrid, Spain.

I’ve also had the chance to present at conferences in Aberdeen, Scotland, and Manchester, England, during my time at A&M. In 2014 and 2015, I spent seven weeks each summer in Bolivia, during which time I took an Aymara language course and conducted research for my dissertation. I traveled to Chile and Argentina during these trips as well.