I was so excited to catch up with Carlondrea (Lala) Petty '23 during her semester abroad in Puebla, Mexico.
SK: Hola, Lala!
LP: Buen dia, Sarah!
SK: First off, we miss you a ton, but are so happy to see all of your pictures pop up on Instagram. Tell me how it's going!
LP: I can definitely say being abroad in a Spanish speaking country has helped me grow spiritually and academically. Of course this is a challenging experience because South Bend has always been home for me, but being in Mexico is an experience that has changed my life.
SK: We always talk about how transformative study abroad experiences are. What has that meant for you?
LP: In Mexico, I have gained a stronger self awareness and love for my identity. I think in the past I thought being a minority was a weakness, but I realized there is power and beauty in my identity.
SK: That's awesome! It was so great to see you takeover ND International's Instagram page. Tell me more about that.
LP: I have been granted the opportunity to be a part of the first cohort of Notre Dame International's “Study Abroad Storytellers”. I share my experiences through pictures, graphic content, and mini vlogs. I was a panelist for one of the Latin American Events where I answered COVID related questions, academics abroad, housing, and more. I was also interviewed by Sam Eppich for BeyoND Study Abroad Podcast (EPISODE 2: IDENTITIES ABROAD: BEING ABROAD AS A BLACK WOMAN IN PUEBLA, MEXICO).
SK: It sounds like you are busy and having a blast.
LP: Having a blast is an understatement.
SK: What about the school part?
LP: In Puebla, we call my university UPAEP. I absolutely love all my classes and research. I have pre-medicine, clinical rotations where we learn and practice many medical skills like suture, injections, labor and delivery, CPR, and more. In addition, I have medical rotations in campus emergency, University Medical Clinic, and Physical Therapy. I am so happy to be learning techniques and skills in the medical field, while gaining clinical hours. As for my research, it is one of my most treasured activities in Puebla. I am creating a brownie to benefit patients with multiple sclerosis.
SK: I am all about baked goods that do good. Rapid fire time: what are the highlights.
LP: Oh, wow, okay, things I’ve done:
- Hiked La Malinche a 7.6 mile journey
- Had a bonding trip in Xico where I participated in canyoneering, zip-lining, and repelling down a waterfall
- Going to Veracruz in two weeks
- Learned CPR in Spanish
- Did “El Grito” for Mexican Independence Day
- Volunteered at a school in Puebla called Chikicole
- Visited the oldest Churro place in Puebla
SK: Please keep the pictures coming, and stay safe and healthy.