Commentary by Gabi (osea 2010)
My Student Testimony of the OSEA Field School
As an undergraduate Anthropology major.
I felt I needed experience in field research to solidify my future academic goals. I heard of OSEA through my university and immediately felt a connection with the program. After being accepted to the program, I began to feel many emotions surrounding my departure for field school. Like many students, I felt anxious and nervous about leaving the comfort of my home to live in a foreign country for two months. However, prior to and during field school, Dr. Castañeda and the OSEA staff were very helpful and supportive. The community of Pisté is very welcoming and eager to help. Becoming accustomed to the town proved to be a very fast and exciting process because of the genuine kindness of the people I met. As for the field school, although challenging, was one of the most rewarding academic experiences I have had. Dr. Castañeda’s program allows the students to explore the ethnographic process by granting them the freedom to create an individual research topic. During the final days of field school when I had submitted my ethnography, I was able to understand the remarkable academic experience I had just achieved. For me, OSEA field school was a life changing experience. In two months I grew as an individual and managed to conduct and finish research in my area of study. Currently, I am applying to professional school and I can honestly say that OSEA has ranked as my most meaningful experience on all of my resumes. I recommend OSEA to any student, no matter what their area of study may be.
My name is Gabrielle Acquaro and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions surrounding my experience through OSEA.
Letter from Michelle (osea 2010), January 2012
… another thank-you for the work you put into helping me by writing a recommendation, last MARCH… the most incredible opportunity fell into my lap. …I have been hired by a new non-profit and it is the most perfect job I could imagine for myself. The basic mission is reducing child hunger in the tri-county area around Detroit.
But what did we talk about in the interview? Why did my new boss hire me? The first question he asked was, "What is this time you spent in Mexico?" He hired me because of the anthropological viewpoint I brought to the issues we discussed and because of the great story I told him about what I learned in Pisté. Yes, I'm sure four years of college was a part of what made me qualified. But those two months mattered, disproportionately so. Not only that, but I have OSEA and you to thank for pointing me in the right direction and arming me with a lens with which to view the world on a personal level. I'm so excited about this job, I can't help but bubble over. Michelle