My experience in this South America Carpe Diem program was incredible. My Spanish language skills improved drastically, and so did the skills of everyone in the group. We had students who had never spoken Spanish before and by the end of the trip they were conversational! Some themes continue throughout the program such as permaculture, coffee production, and the government, so it’s easy to learn about the subjects from many different perspectives. Our contacts were amazing and I still keep in touch with a few of them. Although this was not the case for everyone in my group, my homestay experiences were not very personal, and at times felt more like a bed and breakfast. I was hoping to build strong connections with my homestay families as I have done in the past, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Again, other members of my group had different experiences with host families. I am a Latitudes student, and am so excited to begin my volunteer placement soon! I believe that my experiences on this group semester have definitely prepared me to travel more independently.