Here at USAC, we pride ourselves on providing rigorous academic opportunities for students to boost your education and keep you on track with your degree. One critical pillar to our academic framework is our professors, and we don’t think they get enough credit! No matter where you choose to study, you can do so comfortably knowing that you’ll be taught by some of the best professors available in your host city who work hard to prepare courses, immersive experiences, and fun activities into your study abroad academics.
To introduce you to some of our educators around the world and share what makes them tick, we chatted with a few professors in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Meet Trilce Nigro
I was born in Montevideo but I grew up in Buenos Aires where I studied ballet, performing arts, mime and English. When I was 26, I came back to Uruguay and I had my son, Nicolás.
I started teaching English in 2000 after doing a two-year Teacher Training Course. In 2003, I started university and got my degree in Public Translation. Since then I’ve been teaching Spanish. I started working at USAC in August 2017 when the program settled in Uruguay. The first two semesters I had the elementary Spanish group. Then I also took the intermediate Spanish group and I have had conversation groups.
What is your favorite part about working with USAC?
I really enjoy working at USAC because each group of students brings unique stories, perspectives, and laughs. Every semester that begins is a new challenge!
What is the university like?
The Universidad ORT is a very prestigious private university with a vast variety of courses for students to take.
It has two buildings, one is downtown and the other is in Pocitos neighborhood where USAC has its headquarters. The location is great as it’s five blocks away from the beach and has lots of stores and cafés nearby. The surroundings are really lovely with a mix of high-rise apartments, old charming houses, labyrinth-like streets and lots of trees.
The university building in Pocitos is very modern with comfortable classrooms and common spaces to hang out or study.
What do USAC students typically love most about your course(s)?
I think what they enjoy the most are group activities where they have the chance to practice their conversational skill, interact, and communicate in the target language. I noticed that students feel confident and safe working in pairs. They carry out different tasks and at the same time hold very productive conversations.
My students also love going out, exploring the surroundings and visiting different stores. I prepare different activities to take advantage of the field trips. They learn a lot about culture and language at the same time.
Many students also like oral presentations. While researching their chosen topics they discover many interesting facts and cultural intel about Montevideo and Uruguay. This happens when I suggest a topic, usually related to my country (customs, food, beaches, neighborhoods, etc). When they choose a topic about something they love and it´s not related to Uruguay (a place, an activity, etc), it is also very motivating because they like sharing this with their classmates. Another way of getting to know each other.
Why do you think study abroad is important for students of all backgrounds and degrees?
In my opinion, studying abroad is one of the most rewarding and unforgettable experiences a person can have. Once you are immersed in the new culture you inevitably start to compare it with your own culture and in this way you find differences and similarities and in doing so you gain a better understanding of both. It makes you reflect on many things you hadn’t thought about before coming to the new country. All the enriching experiences we live during our time abroad will be crucial for our personal growth.
If while studying abroad you are also learning the language of the country you’re staying in, your progress will be exponential. It’s a unique opportunity. Experiences in and outside the classroom will help you a lot to improve all your language skills and vocabulary.
What do you love the most about Montevideo?
I like its architecture, especially that of Ciudad Vieja and Punta Carretas. I love the parks, the green spaces and the variety of trees that the city has. And of course, I can not fail to mention the wonderful Rambla, a 14 – mile (24 km) promenade that stretches from Ciudad Vieja to Carrasco. The longest unbroken sidewalk in the world!
What advice do you have for students interested in studying in Montevideo?
People in Montevideo and also in other areas of the country are very kind and extremely friendly and helpful, so my advice to students is they try to communicate in Spanish as much as they can, chat with people, make friends. They will learn a lot this way. I would also encourage them to explore their surroundings. Montevideo is a tiny beautiful city with lots of places to visit and discover. It’s so easy to go around that they must take advantage of that!
What do you do during your time off? What is your favorite thing to do in Montevideo?
I love plants and gardening. I have a very large balcony where there are lots of plants, lots of flowers and even trees. I also really like nature. Walking through forests, hills or mountains is my favorite activity when I leave the city.
Traveling in and out of my country and getting to know new places and cultures is another of my favorite activities. When I travel I really like to try the typical foods of each place.
What is one fun/unique/interesting fact about yourself?
I think my name (Trilce) is quite a unique fact about myself. It’s the title of a book of poems written by a Peruvian writer in 1922. It’s not the name of a character nor a place, it doesn’t appear in any poem, it’s just a group of letters. My parents loved the author and the book and they named me after that. The funny thing is that on the cover of the old book there’s a drawing with the face of a woman who looks like me!