This Week @ UCSD
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They are learning about flamenco and Spanish culture in the City of Cadiz. They're programming in India, while discovering the country's wildlife and unusual driving habits. They're learning about poverty right here at home. Several undergraduates have agreed to act as correspondents for This Week@UCSD this summer as they embark on learning adventures throughout the world. Here are their first Dispatches from the Field.

Michael Nekrasov
Discovering Corals, Water Buffaloes
and Fried Frog in Taiwan

On the morning of June 21, I stepped onto the tarmac and boarded a tiny American Eagle flight that would take me to Los Angeles, then Tokyo, and then eventually Taiwan. That is when my latest adventure began. I am a bit of a globetrotter. I love learning about new cultures, and adjusting to new circumstances. Every chance I get, I come up with new ways of getting myself out of my cozy suburban dwelling and out into the world—cheaply. At first, this summer was looking like a bust.


About Michael
Michael Nekrasov, is a senior studying computer engineering. This summer, he is in Taiwan, where he is helping engineer a system that will allow researchers to study corals in real time.
Cristina Farkas
Learning to Love Flamenco and the Spanish Way of Life

Hola from Cádiz, España! I’ve been here studying for almost a week, in the 3,000-year-old city called Cádiz, with the linguistics Global Seminar on Spanish Dialectology and the Art, Culture and History of Flamenco. It is such a privilege to study both Spanish dialects and flamenco in this port city, which was instrumental to both the golden age of flamenco and Spain’s exploration in the New World. The seminar lasts one month, so I have tried to immediately immerse myself in the Spanish way of life, which has led to both education and self discovery!


About Cristina
Cristina Farkas is a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt College, majoring in psychology. This summer, she is exploring Spain and the art of flamenco during one of UCSD's Global Seminars.

Lana Tamalpas
Another Side of America: Service and Active Citizenship in Appalachia

Appalachia. As a native San Diegan, on the opposite side of the country, I was worried. I had no idea what to expect when I heard I was going to a conference at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg on “Access and Isolation in Appalachia.” What I got were new friends, a renewed passion for community service, and the best leadership training I have ever received.


About Lana
Lana Tamalpas usually leads students to far away countries as a coordinator of Alternative Breaks at UCSD. This summer, she got to learn about a whole different world right at home, when she worked with nonprofit organizations in Virginia.
Jessica Hsieh
Getting a Taste of Malaysia's Cultural Mix

, After 20 hours of flying and an overnight stay in a transit hotel in Singapore, I have finally arrived in Penang, Malaysia. “Saujana” means beautiful in Malay, and it’s a name quite fitting for my hostel, due to the view it offers. Every day, I wake and fall asleep to the sunrises and sunsets reflecting across the Strait of Malacca, the water channel between Penang and the mainland. Due to the hot, humid, Malaysian weather, I am covered in sweat by the time I arrive at work, though it is only about a 15-minute walk away.


About Jessica
Jessica Hsieh is a junior, who studies bioengineering, and more precisely biotechnology. This summer, as part of a nine-week stint in Malaysia, she is working to improve influenza treatments.
Jade Kwan
Navigating Life in Another Country

I’m sure past and present PRIME students can agree that it wasn’t until the very moment they stepped foot in their host countries that it hit them: this summer would be special. Sure, it was easy to share with family and friends that I was going abroad for a summer internship. But with my stuffed backpack and my laptop at my side, I began my experience in Tokyo, Japan, with one word in mind: surreal. The very first obstacle I faced was meeting up with Isabelle, the other PRIME student working at the National Institute for Information and Communications Technology (NICT).


About Jade
Jade Kwan is a junior majoring in cognitive science and more precisely  human-computer Interaction. In Japan, she is perfecting her ability to build 3D computer models.
Shandy Pinkowski
Getting to Know Cádiz,
Its Landmarks, Its Food and Its People

Arriving in Cádiz was a paramount experience. I had to get here by air, by train and finally by bus, but the Andalusian city by the water was worth the extensive travel. I am here to take a five-week seminar on the art, language and culture of flamenco, with UC San Diego Professor John Moore.


About Shandy
Shandy Pinkowski is an international studies and sociology major. This summer in Spain, she is discovering flamenco, Spanish culture and food.
Ramya Chitters
Flexing Her Brains and Touring Australia

After nearly two weeks of being scared that I wouldn’t be able to go to Australia for the PRIME research program due to visa issues, I finally boarded the plane at San Francisco International Airport on the last day of June (Australian time), trading a hot summer for a cold winter down under. However, after being here for less than a week, I can quiet honestly say that Melbourne is a quite welcoming town. Coming in a week later than the others, I definitely was a little flustered about the workings of the place, especially since I was still reeling from the effects of jet lag.


About Ramya
Ramya Chitters is a senior majoring in biotechnology. This summer in Australia, she is studying the tissue that layers heart cells.
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