Temple University undergraduate Lauren Bateman was on exchange in Chile in 2011, a year in which the county’s schools and universities were rocked by protests, with students calling for reform of the education system.
Bateman lived in an apartment overlooking Plaza Italia, Santiago, where most of the marches began, and her classes were frequently interrupted by strikes. But far from being put off by the student movement, she had the time of her life.
“I fell in love with Santiago and made lots of great friends along the way,” Bateman told NextGen Journal.
In fact, her time in Chile marked Bateman so strongly, that when she got back to the United States, she immediately applied for a scholarship to study in the Andean nation once again.
“When I applied for the Diamond Research Scholars Program, I had no doubt in my mind that I would return to Chile to conduct my research,” she said
The Diamond Research Scholars Program gives Temple University undergraduates the chance to undertake to focused research during the summer and fall breaks. For Bateman, that research will be on the effect of the media on the student protests.
And Bateman will not be left wanting for material – Chile’s 2011 student movement saw almost daily occurrences of creative protests, including a flash mob of “zombies” dancing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” several “kiss-a-thons” and an eight-month-long relay marathon around the national parliament, all aimed at capturing media attention.
“I now want to combine what I saw in 2011 along with all of the information that I gather over my ten weeks of research,” Bateman said.
In addition to her research objectives, Bateman told NextGen Journal that she hopes to use her time in Chile to further her Spanish skills.
“I think that’s the whole idea of the Diamond Research Scholars Program, to give us an opportunity to practice and gain experience in our respective fields of study,” she said.
To learn about how you can study on exchange in Chile, click here.