First of all, I’d like to introduce myself to everyone and give you all some background information. I’m Joe, I’m 19, and going into my Junior year at Drake University. I’m studying International Relations and Spanish, and I’m set to study in the Argentina Buenos Aires Intermediate program for the next five months. I’ve never left the country before.
And I’m leaving tomorrow!
For me, Buenos Aires was always the right choice. Why? As a Spanish and IR student, I wanted to focus on a specific geographical region, and South America was obviously the best fitting place for both of these. Buenos Aires is a enormous, modern city that, at least according to what I hear, never runs out of things to offer, and it’s known for great steak and pasta, which happen to be my two favorite things to eat. So why not go to Buenos Aires?
The question I have asked myself so many times thus far is, “How, having never left the United States before, are you going to be able to survive on your own in a totally different world for five months?” Truth is, I feel a lot less nervous the day before leaving than I thought I would. IFSA-Butler has provided us with so many pre-departure materials and things to read, and I’ve done a fair bit of researching myself.
Plus, I just found out two days ago who my host family is! It’s a family of six people, one boy and three girls, and two kids are college age. This will be a perfect way to get a quick grasp of the young culture and slang. Oh, and they have a dog, which can only be a plus.
I think that one of the most difficult things about going abroad will be getting used to the difference in pace and timing of daily life in Buenos Aires. Dinner at 10:00? Not knowing anything in my schedule for the next 3 weeks until Monday? On the weekends, no one going out until 2:00 AM? I’m going to have some adjusting to do.
But, that’s all part of the experience, as they say. To all the prospective students that are wondering they could do it, let me say that if I am going to be able to handle the experience, you can. I, as many of my friends would say, am a bit set in my ways. But this is one time when you can let go of all that, embrace a totally different lifestyle, and there’s something so liberating about that!
Of course, there is still studying to do. Let’s not forget about that. But for the next few days, time to enjoy the new atmosphere!