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Crossing the river before summiting 17,500 Pico Austria. Photo by Ella Williams (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest, 2nd Place), South America Semester.

Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Ella and I am so excited to be joining you for this Andes and Amazon Semester!  I am 18 years old and I am currently taking a gap year before going to Dartmouth College next fall.  The two main adventures of my gap year so far were traveling to Switzerland to ski over the summer and hiking the Long Trail in my home state of Vermont (a 275 milk trek that runs from Massachusetts to Canada).  Since finishing the Long Trail, I have been working at a daycare.  I’m excited to do more hiking in a totally new environment in South America.

As for what I hope to get out of the course, I’m most excited to be learning Spanish.  I have studied French throughout high school, but I have a little bit of background in Spanish and I think being immersed in the language and culture will help me pick it up quickly.  I also love to cook, so I’m looking forward to trying new foods as we travel.  I know this is going to be a great adventure and I can’t wait to meet you all in just a few weeks!