Learning life lessons in Montevideo

Daily life in Montevideo taught Joseph self-reliance, cultural awareness, and a lot of Spanish.  

Joseph Haas ‘24, a human resource management and Spanish double major from the University of Mount Union, knew he wanted to study abroad ever since learning Spanish in high school.

Once he reached college, taking the steps to apply for a program was a little nerve-racking. Once he settled on his decision to enroll in the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) Montevideo program for Spring 2023, the tension was released. Thanks to USAC and its program staff in Uruguay, his journey was as smooth as possible, according to his online review on Go Abroad and Go Overseas.

“Study abroad taught me that I am capable of being resilient and independent; even though moving away from home for college can be a big step, living in a foreign country on your own is an even bigger one,” Haas said to a reporter at the University of Mount Union. “While I was abroad, though, I gained a new level of self-confidence.”

While in Uruguay, he chose to live with a host family. It greatly increased is proficiency in Spanish.

“Living with a host family allowed me to learn in-depth about the Uruguayan culture while forcing me to practice my Spanish-speaking skills with my host parents as they did not speak English,” said Haas.

The international experience taught Joseph about cultural awareness and his place in the world. He highly recommends students choose Uruguay because it’s not a tourist-heavy, popular destination. He really got to know a corner of the world many people overlook, and he will take that knowledge with him wherever he goes.