Alumni Spotlight: Allison Brusie

Allison Brusie is from Scarborough, Maine. She is currently a senior at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, where she is majoring in International Studies with a minor in Spanish. She studied in Merida, Mexico from January to May 2011 of her junior year with Central College Abroad.

Tell us about your time with CCA in Merida, Mexico.

Allison: I originally decided to live in the central house because I was afraid to live with a host family. I was worried that I would never feel comfortable in another person's home, and I've heard some host family horror stories. But after about a month in the central house I realized my Spanish wasn't improving at all. Part of the problem is when you live in the central house, you live with other Americans, and therefore speak English constantly. So I decided to move into a Mexican home stay.

Allsion with her host mother

Because I changed so late, the only host family they could find was kind of far away - they normally keep students within walking distance but I had to take the bus. Fun fact about the buses in Merida: you wave them down like taxis. So I took the bus every morning, went to my classes, went home, had lunch with my family, took siesta (I never missed siesta), did homework, had dinner with my family, and then usually went out with friends for a bit, many of whom were Mexicans. It turned out that my host family was absolutely wonderful, and moving in with them was the best choice I could have made.

Allison atop the mayan pyramid at Mayapan