Megan Cooper

In May 2023, I returned to Chile, where I studied abroad in the first semester of 2022 to research populism and indigenous conflict in the south of the country. I spent two weeks in Chile: the first week in Santiago, where I conducted interviews with government leaders, and the second week in the region of Araucanía. In the south, I spoke with workers about their experience living in a conflict situation. I was able to use my Spanish, develop my research skills, and return to a place that has meant a lot to my personal, academic, and professional development.

Before this experience, I had never conducted this type of qualitative research before. I didn’t know what it would be like to travel and do research, though I loved the start of the research process. Leaving Chile, I felt confident that I am interested in pursuing this type of work professionally. I will graduate in December of 2023, and hopefully by then I will be able to publish what I have worked on. Beyond this specific project, I hope to continue to research, eventually planning to pursue a graduate degree in geography.

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