From Colombia to Cornell
In the past, I was certain to have done my PhD in Europe, but after my experience at Cornell University, I would like to study in the USA and, in fact, I would like to be able to go back to Cornell!
Why did you choose to study at Cornell University?
I chose Cornell University for my research fellowship because it is an excellent institution. Its campus is beautiful and offers a large amount of resources. For instance, the libraries offer countless books in different languages and about different topics. Also, I had the opportunity to visit the library’s university archive in which I could leaf through a manuscript of the Italian Renaissance.
Other reasons that led me to choose Cornell: the past experience of my colleagues, and the presence of professors who worked on matters close to my interests. I worked with the history professor Raymond Craib, but I also had the opportunity to meet other professors: the history professor John Weiss, the professor of Renaissance history John Najemy, and the professor of art history Claudia Lazzaro. It was a wonderful experience!
Describe a typical day for you on the Cornell campus.
I started at seven o’clock in the morning. I had breakfast with my colleagues, mostly from my home university—Universidad de Los Andes. Like me, they were doing their research fellowships. If I had to meet a professor, I first went to his office and then I started to study in the Uris Library, a good environment for studying. After lunch, I studied with my colleagues at the café in Olin Library and, in the afternoon, we visited the campus (the buildings, the large Botanic Gardens, the archives, libraries, etc.), the city and surroundings.
I really enjoyed my stay at Cornell. I saw many places and met many people from various disciplines. The experience expanded my horizons. Although it was a little difficult for me at the beginning, I now recognize that was just because it was something new. Indeed, over time, once I started to know people and the university, the whole experience became enjoyable.
How do you expect your Cornell experience will affect your future?
I am sure that my experience at Cornell will positively affect my future. For example, when I returned to my university, I had the possibility to publish the research that I carried out during my stay at Cornell. This has encouraged me to keep on doing research. In fact, now that I am finishing my undergraduate studies, I would like to continue studying for a master's degree and then a PhD. In the past, I was certain to have done my PhD in Europe, but after my experience at Cornell University, I would like to study in the USA and, in fact, I would like to be able to go back to Cornell!