Caitlin Alcorn is a recipient of the Summer 2017 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
As a doctoral student in Geography, I am conducting my dissertation research on paid domestic work in Brazil. I participated in an exchange program in Brazil as an undergraduate, but my Portuguese language skills were quite rusty by the time I reached graduate school. Through a summer FLAS fellowship from the Center for Global Studies, I was able to travel to São Paulo, Brazil to strengthen my language skills through 7 weeks of intensive Portuguese training. During this time, I was also able to make contacts with students and faculty at a local university and gain familiarity with the city to which I will return for my dissertation research. The FLAS was enormously helpful as I prepare to complete my dissertation, and the language skills I gained will continue to serve my academic and career goals into the future.