Colombia: Interview with Ana Mikler


By Jessica Doran

What event in your life lead you to come to the U.S.?

I was studying in an international school in Hong Kong and an admissions person from Union came to my school. I was interested in the Minerva programs, and in the opportunities that the college seemed to offer. I was looking for a college opportunity outside my home country.

What interesting differences between the US culture with your home culture do you see?

One of the things that shocked me most at the beginning was the perception college that people have here compared to home. At home most people stay in their home cities or just move to the capital but people don’t tend to leave their homes to go to school. Another big difference is the drinking culture. Back home everyone starts drinking earlier than here, so when they get to University they already over passed the excitement of the first times drinking without parent control. That was really hard for me, because at college level everyone is legal to go to a bar or so and your social life tends to go around those activities more than just being at a house or so.

What are a few of you favorite things to do?

I am physics major and I love the classes, thus I am part of the physics club. I enjoy watching movies of any kind except comedy (humor is a hard thing to get from other countries and I still struggle with it sometimes). I like reading different types of books from novels, sci-fi, real stories to philosophy and political books. For favorite food, I like Malaysian and Thai food.

Do you have any disappointments or joys with living at Union College?I don’t like the fact that is really few things to do around and you really need a car to get to a lot of places. On the other hand, Union has a lot of things going on all the time which I really like. You never can get bored at Union. I get disappointed at the lack of interest that students sometimes have about other cultures and getting out of their comfortable zone. Similarly, I do not like the lack of diversity of the school. But we are working to make it better.

Tell me about your term abroad that you were on this past winter.

I was in Chile doing research in astronomy and Spanish. I did research in Chilean literature and travelled to the places that the books I read described. On the astronomy side, I did research with evolution of stars in one of the American observatories in northern Chile. The experience was amazing, I am actually working with them again this summer. I learned a lot, and I had the opportunity to use telescopes in the best place in the world for observations.


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