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1 .I've been reading your personal statement, Paul.
2 .First, let's talk about your work experience in South America.
3 .What took you there?
4 .Was it to gain more fluency in Spanish?
1 .Well, as I'm combining Spanish with Latin American studies, my main idea was to find out more about the way people lived there.
2 .My spoken Spanish was already pretty good in fact.
1 .So you weren't too worried about language barriers?
2 .In fact, I ended up teaching English there, although that wasn't my original choice of work.
1 .I see.
2 .How did you find out about all this?
1 .I found an agency that runs all kinds of voluntary projects in South America.
1 .What kind of work?
1 .Well, there were several possibilities.
1 .You mean construction?
2 .Engineering work?
1 .Yes, getting involved in building projects was an option.
2 .Then there was tourism-taking tourists for walks around the volcanoes-which I actually chose to do, and then there was work with local farmers.
1 .But you didn't continue with that project.
2 .Why not?
1 .Because I never really knew whether I'd be needed or not.
2 .I'd thought it might be difficult physically, but I was certainly fit enough...no, I wanted to do something that had more of a proper structure to it, I suppose.
3 .I get de-motivated otherwise.
1 .What do you think you learned from your experience?
2 .It must have been a great opportunity to examine community life.
1 .Yes, but it was difficult at first to be accepted by the locals.
2 .It was a very remote village and some of them were reluctant to speak to me-although they were always interested in my clothes and how much I'd had to pay for them.
1 .Well, that's understandable.
1 .Yes, but things soon improved.
2 .What struck me was that when people became more comfortable with me and less suspicious, we really connected with each other in a meaningful way.
1 .You made good friends?
1 .Yes, with two of the families in particular.
2 .What about management.
3 .Did you have a project manager?
1 .Yes and he gave me lots of advice and guidance.
1 .And was he good at managing too?
1 .That wasn't his strong point!
2 .I think he was often more interested in the academic side of things than filing reports.
3 .He was a bit of a dreamer.
1 .And did you have a contract?
1 .I had to stay for a minimum of three months.
2 .My parents were surprised when I asked to stay longer-six months in the end.
3 .I was so happy there.
1 .And did anything on the administration side of things surprise you?
2 .What was the food and lodging like?
1 .Simple...but there was plenty to eat and I only paid seven dollars a day for that which was amazing really.
2 .And they gave me all the equipment I needed...even a laptop.
1 .You didn't expect that then?
1 .Well, I'll look forward to hearing more.
1 .But now let's look at these modules.
2 .You'll need to start thinking about which ones you'll definitely want to study.
3 .The first one here is Gender Studies in Latin America.
1 .It looks at how gender analysis is reconfiguring civil society in Latin America.
2 .Women are increasingly occupying positions in government and in other elected leadership positions in Latin America.
3 .I think you'd find it interesting.
1 .If it was to do with people in the villages rather than those in the public sphere, I would.
2 .What about Second Language Acquisition?
1 .Do you think I'd find that useful?
1 .Well, you've had some practical experience in the field, I think it would be.
1 .I hadn't thought about that.
2 .I'll put that down as a definite, then.
2 .What about Indigenous Women's Lives.
3 .That sounds appropriate.
1 .I thought so too, but I looked at last year's exam questions and that changed my mind.
1 .Don't judge the value of the course on that.
2 .Maybe, talk to some other students first and we can talk about it again later.
2 .And lastly, will you sign up for Portuguese lessons?
1 .My Spanish is good, so would I find that module easy?
1 .Not necessarily.
2 .Some people find that Spanish interferes with learning Portuguese...getting the accent right too.
3 .It's quite different in a lot of ways.
1 .Well, I'd much sooner do something else, then.
2 .Now, what we need to do is...