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Reflecting from Home

Time December 16th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | No Comments by

After almost 5 months I’m finally home. When I’m asked how my experience in Argentina was, I immediately respond “AMAZING!!” and start telling stories. However, when I’m asked how it feels to be home, my response is “it’s kinda weird actually”. It was weird walking through the Denver airport and seeing all the signs written in English, and being able to understand every conversation that’s going on around me. It was weird walking into my house and sleeping in my old bed. The normality of home makes it seem as if the whole thing was just a dream. Read More »

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Backpacking in the Andes

Time December 16th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | No Comments by

My last week in Argentina was spent backpacking in Bariloche and San Martín de los Andes, in the southern part of Argentina. My travel buddy on this trip was an amazing friend and Argentine native who has been traveling here almost every summer since he was a child, so he knew the ropes. Read More »

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Thanksgiving in Uruguay

Time December 16th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | No Comments by

After we finished our final exams, all 50-something students on the IFSA Argentine Universities program got to go on an excursion to Uruguay to celebrate the end of the semester and Thanksgiving. At first, my friends back in the states were jealous that I was already finished with school, but when I reminded them that my semester started in July, they realized that my semester was just as long as theirs. Read More »

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Wonder of the World

Time December 16th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | No Comments by

The Iguazu Falls, on the border of Argentina and Brazil, are the largest waterfall system in the world and one of the natural wonders of the world. A lot of my friends traveled to the falls on a bus with a travel company called BAIS (Buenos Aires International Students). However, the bus ride is about 22 hours, and after my experience with the broken down bus on the way home from Mendoza, I decided to save this trip for when my family visited and take a 2 hour plane ride instead.

The trip can be done in two days because the tiny town of Iguazu itself doesn’t have much to offer besides a small downtown area with some restaurants and tourist shops. It’s possible to see the falls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides, but it’s extremely expensive to get a visa to visit Brazil. Unless you play on traveling more in Brazil, it’s best to stay on the Argentina side.

If you’re going to see the falls, you MUST pay the extra money to go on a boat ride that goes right under them. It is so worth it. The sound of the water falling is thunderous, and you get soaked from head to toe. You’re given dry bags to put you shoes and electronics in, and we dried off quickly in the hot summer sun.

The waterfalls were truly the most beautiful thing I witnessed in Argentina. After the boat ride there’s a ton of trails and boardwalks you can walk on to see the falls from all angles. I felt like a monkey while walking through the jungle, so I couldn’t help climbing a tree and posing like one for a picture.

Standing on one of the lookouts and viewing the waterfalls framed by a perfect rainbow from all the mist was an unreal moment. I’d seen pictures and postcards of this place, but they don’t do it justice. You know that you made the right decision and that all of the struggles of studying abroad were worth it when you get to see a view that takes your breath away.

Besos,

Emily

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Mendoza with Amigos

Time December 16th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | No Comments by

The second half of my semester abroad flew by! My life got busy with planning trips, final exams and presentations, and my family visiting me. Trying to cram in as much as I could, combined with spotty wifi while traveling through Argentina, caused my blog to be pushed to the back burner. But, now I’m stocked up on amazing photos and stories to share about this crazy life abroad!

My friends and I decided to take a break from the city and travel Mendoza, Argentina for a long weekend. When we arrived to our hostel, we couldn’t help but giggle at the translation mishap that read “your funniest travel experience”. The sign was comical, but the rest of the hostel was overflowing with good vibes. We befriended some Germans backpacking through South America, and ate an amazing asado (barbecue) with them.

I was craving a little adrenaline, so I convinced my friends to sign up  for one of the excursions that the hostel offered. We woke up early and took an hour long bus ride from our hostel to the mountains. The first half the of the day we hiked with our tour guide to an over-hang that we could repel off of. I love heights and I was the last one to jump, so getting to watch the expressions on my friends’s faces who feared heights was priceless.

In the afternoon, we geared up in wet suits, life jackets and helmets and headed to the Mendoza River for “white” water rafting. Even though the water was completely brown from sediment and runoff, the experience was exhilarating. The rapids soaked us and our guide excellently guided us through the tricky parts.

After another full day of a bike tour through vineyards, we were exhausted and ready to get on the bus for the 14 hour trip back to Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, at about 4:30 am we were awoken by an announcement that the bus had broken down. We waited for a new bus to arrive, but were then told that there were only 30 available seats. There was a titanic-esque moment when they announced that only women and children should get on this bus, but we were lucky enough to all find seats. The 14 hour bus ride ended up being closer to 20, but through the midst of the travel chaos I was able to snap a picture of the sunrise and was reminded that you need a certain amount of resilience and flexibility when traveling in a foreign country.

Besos,

Emily

 

 

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Family Visits

Time October 17th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | 1 Comment by

I’ve been living abroad for several months now, and at times that inevitable feeling of homesickness hits. While I’m so thankful that I can FaceTime my friends and family back home, there’s a comfort of being in the physical presence of “your people” that can’t be achieved through a screen. I was ecstatic when my mom called to tell me that she and my aunt has planned a long weekend to come visit me in Buenos Aires. Neither of them speak any Spanish, so I embraced the role of translator/tour guide and showed them around my new home.

Picture 1: Jardín Botánico

My mom and I’s favorite thing to do together is go hiking. Since her trip was only for a few days and we didn’t have time to leave the city and hike in the mountains, we decided to get our nature fix by going for walk in the botanical gardens. The lush greenery made it easy to forget we were still in the capital. Butterflies fluttered around us while we walked through the aromatic flowers and the special Yerba Mate section of the garden. The leaves of the plant are naturally caffeinated and used in traditional Argentine tea. The taste is way to bitter for my liking, but it was interesting to see how it’s grown. Read More »

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From City Lights to Starry Nights

Time September 6th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | No Comments by

After more than a month of living in Buenos Aires, I was ready for a break from city life. I’ve finally mastered using the subte (metro) and collectivos (buses) to navigate the city, but I’m still not used to the fact that it’s never completely quiet. I often hear the sounds of people protesting in the street while I’m in class and the distant sounds of honks and sirens while I’m trying to fall asleep. The night before I left to travel to the northern province of Juyjuy Argentina, I snapped a breathtaking picture of the sunset over the Buenos Aires skyline.

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Beautiful finds in Buenos Aires

Time August 9th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | 1 Comment by

I have stumbled upon some beautiful performances, artwork and architecture during my first couple weeks exploring Buenos Aires. Read More »

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One Week Until the Adventures in Argentina Begin!

Time July 12th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Argentina | No Comments by

T-minus one week until I arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina! It seems like there’s a never-ending list of things I need to get done before I leave. But, instead of channeling my excitement into packing, I’ve been doodling pictures of the country and researching the best sites to see.

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays, but it was extra special this year knowing that I won’t be in the United States for the next five months. I’m excited to become immersed in Argentinian culture and learn about their unique traditions, but it’s bittersweet knowing that I won’t see that red white and blue flag that I love so much for a while.

I’m lucky enough to have a twin brother who just spent the last semester studying abroad in the United Kingdom. My excitement to study in B.A. grew tremendously after he showed me around his campus and introduced me to his classmates from around the world. His advice to me for studying abroad is to get involved. He joined the volleyball club at his school, and through the club he was able to stay active and he made friendships that will last him a lifetime.

This picture of the phone that looks like it belongs in the early 2000s is the phone I will primarily be using while abroad. A fellow Tulane student who used it last year when she was studying in Buenos Aires donated it to me. I will bring my iPhone with me so I can stay in touch with friends and family via apps that run on wifi. However, I don’t plan on using it in public. Since Argentina’s government prohibits Apple products to be sold in the country, iPhones are commonly stolen and sold for as much as 20,000 pesos ($3,500)!

I’m a very sentimental person, and as I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my life, I can’t help but look back at the amazing memories I’ve made at Tulane. Right now, the FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. I’ll miss tailgates and sorority events and seeing my friends and favorite professors every day, but I’m trying to remind myself that by the time December comes, I’ll have a whole new pile of pictures documenting all the adventures I’m about to experience.

 

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