Almost nine months after attending a Loyola Marymount University admissions program in his native Uruguay, Gonzalo Puig still finds it hard to believe that he is attending LMU on a full scholarship.
“Adjusting to life in the United States is challenging, especially in the fast-paced Los Angeles setting,” explained Puig. “It’s nothing like this Uruguay.”
As a high school participant at the World Scholar Athlete Games, he visited Rhode Island and represented Uruguay in the academic and athletic tournament. He studied economics in Uruguay and decided to major in political science at LMU because he enjoys interacting with people of diverse interests and cultures.
Puig said that back home, the political situation is very corrupt and the school systems are inadequate. By receiving a John B. and Nelly Llanos Kilroy Foundation International Scholars Fund for South American Students scholarship, Puig believes this is his opportunity for a quality education and to someday be part of a more respectable generation of political leaders.
“Gonzalo is impressive in his determination,” said Reesa Bruketta, international admission counselor. “I hope that other students will have the same courage to study abroad and challenge themselves in a new culture as Gonzalo has done. His background is part of the diverse collection of perspectives and experiences that comprise LMU’s student population.”
Less than two months into the semester, he has already demonstrated leadership skills by founding the first LMU triathlon club. When it comes to sports, the passionate athlete said that LMU Lions have something to learn from South American aficionados.
“The athletes here are great, but the audience is dead. I look forward to really making the Lions’ roars heard,” said Puig.
**The Office for International Students and Scholars is hosting World Fest 2008 the week of November 17. Various lectures, performances and service projects have been scheduled to promote cultural exchange.**