Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Yochim


Kevin is a young professional in the field of education abroad. He is originally from Western Massachusetts, though he has lived in Spain, California, and Boston in recent years.

Why did you choose this program?

I attended Middlebury, so I thought it would be easiest to do one of their study abroad programs. As part of my International Studies major with a Latin American focus, I was required to study abroad in the region. I was drawn to Buenos Aires because I had never lived in a big city before.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I felt that Middlebury prepared me very well. I was given a pretty thorough list of everything I had to do (visa, housing, enrollment, etc.) and there were always people to answer any questions I (or my family) had. I had to organize flights on my own, but that wasn't too challenging.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I think that the size of the study abroad program - i.e. the number of students in a cohort - is a really big factor. Bigger programs make it easier to get stuck in the American bubble, limiting intercultural gains.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I had class Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I then did an internship at a local NGO on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I could walk to my university, and used the Subte (metro) and colectivos (buses) to get around pretty much everywhere else.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was seeming like an idiot in class. However, when I started I realized that my previous Spanish instruction had prepared me very well.

I was able to follow what my professors were saying pretty easily. And I didn't really have to worry about getting called on, as that's not really a thing that happens in the typical Argentine classroom.