Fellow to explore ancient ruins in South America

Jessica Lee

Conor Belfield ’14, who is a recipient of the Brownstein Fellowship, plans to travel to South America through the gap year program Thinking Beyond Borders.

Belfield will spend five weeks in Ecuador, a week climbing up to Machu Picchu in Peru, followed by a final five weeks in Bolivia.

“I’ve never traveled before,” Belfield said. “Experiencing new cultures and [meeting] people who are in situations different from the one I grew up in is very important to me.”

Initially, he had hesitations about the concept of taking a gap year, Belfield said.

However, after a semester at the High Mountain Institute in Colorado during junior year, Belfield began to consider applying for the Brownstein Fellowship.

“I was around a lot of young people, particularly young adults who had taken gap years, and they shared the cool experiences they had post-graduation,” Belfield said. “I know that once I’m in college, I’ll wrap up whatever I’m studying and get a job when I get out of college, so this is maybe one of the last times that I’ll have to go out and explore the world.”