Colombia Purdue Initiative — CPI


Marissa Berns, a senior in Industrial Engineering, is passionate about Colombia. She spent 8 months in Medellín, as part of the GEARE (Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education) program and Purdue’s partnership with EAFIT with through the Partners for the 100,000 Strong in the Americas program. She has returned twice after her initial stay, and plans to visit again in the future.

Her decision to go to Medellín on a Study Abroad trip was influenced by the interest that EAFIT expressed in bringing foreign students, and by the fact that she received a scholarship from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative. Marissa contacted the Colombian Student Association at Purdue (CSAP), and talked to some of the members, who lent her a hand with the travel logistics. Besides studying at EAFIT and being an intern at the Compañía Nacional de Chocolates, Marissa volunteered at Ruta N with Proyecto Interchange. Thanks to this, she was able to meet a lot of different people. Paisas, she says, welcomed her into her homes, introduced them to their friends and families, and showed her around the city.

Marissa is the adventurous kind. During the Holy Week she went on a road trip that took her from Medellín to Quito, with stops like Cali, Popayán, Pasto, and Ipiales along the way. She travelled widely across Antioquia, and even stayed at a coffee farm. But she is also the smart kind, as her plans for the future include a Masters’ degree from Purdue, and figuring out a way of not having to miss buñuelos and empanadas!


Peace monument in Medellín


A beautiful view of the city (Medellín)



Las Lajas Sanctuary, Nariño


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