Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Update!

“Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down 
By the enemy 
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing 
Bow down to the mighty 
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue 
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live 
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in 
Show me how big your brave is 

Say what you wanna say 
And let the words fall out 
Honestly I wanna see you be brave 

With what you want to say 
And let the words fall out 
Honestly I wanna see you be brave”


My sincerest apologies for the long delay in blog posts!!  Know that I haven’t abandoned you dear readers, its just that I’ve been busy with my life here and haven’t had the time to write the update I think you all deserve :) But things have been going very well for me these past few weeks.  Here are a couple highlights:


*Following what’s going on in my classes better, I even raised my hand and made a contribution in my film class last week!  I explained the technology behind green screens (not very eloquently but they got my point) Classes here are different, there is definitely less pressure to pay attention and to work hard.  I’m not held accountable for nearly as much in my classes here as I am in my classes at Brandeis.  Also, students here may not take their final exam for a class for months after the course has ended, so they have plenty of time to study the material.  However, the language factor makes the classes challenging enough, so I’m grateful for the easier workload!


*Going to a free salsa class where I actually learned how to dance a little better, and met some interesting people!


*Having a lot of interesting conversations with members of my host family and with my Argentine friends, about everything from life values and cultural differences, to movie plots and food preparation!  I’m very grateful that my Spanish is at a point where I can ask difficult questions and understand complicated answers, it makes my experience here much more educational.  


*Building good relationships with the people who work at the elementary school where I volunteer.  I do one on one English tutoring as well as help lead the 6th grade English class. I’m finding it more challenging than I anticipated to teach English in a way that is truly valuable, I have a tendency to use words that the students don’t know yet, or I’m tempted to speak to them in Spanish when they’re struggling because I can.  But each week I’m learning more and I know this information will be very valuable when I go back to the US and work with English Language Learners there!


*Finding some nice parks and plazas to go running and to read outside.  Sometimes I just need to get out of the house, and having favorite spots near my house helps a lot!


*Getting pizza with my friends two celebrate being in Argentina for 2 months!  It both feels like a long time and a short time to be in another country, but I’m grateful to have more time to enjoy my Argentine experience!  Also, pizza in Argentina is really good!  


*Befriending a group of Argentines who have invited a group of us to drink mate, and to have an asado (barbeque).  They are really cool, interesting people and I hope to keep getting to know them better!


*Going to a Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence day) celebration in Mendoza with my host dad!  It was really cool to hear Israeli music in Argentina, and to get a better senese of the Jewish community here, it reminded me a lot of my Jewish communities back in the states, and made me a little homesick!


*Our program director, José, bringing back peanut butter from his trip to the US!  Peanut Butter doesn’t really exist here (dulce de leche all the way!) so I miss it a lot!


*Having an interfaith dinner with some of my friends!  I made challah, a Jewish bread eaten on Shabbat, on my own for the first time. My friends loved it, and we had a really interesting discussion about holidays and religions over home cooked food!  I love all things interfaith, so I was really excited about getting to have an interfaith experience here in Argentina!


 

*Discovering the wonders of coffee (I’ve never been a coffe drinker until I came to Argentina, now I don’t know what I would do without it!)


* Random acts of kindness that make a huge difference, like the guy who sensed I was trying to get to the university and told me I needed to get off the bus now or I’d end up in the middle of nowhere, or the Argentines who walk me through every step of photocopying a book from the library or preparing for an exam, or who invite me into their homes and their lives.  Each small, positive interaction I have goes a long way in making me feel more comfortable and less like a stranger to this city.  They may never know how much I appreciate their kindness, but I’ll try to show my gratitude as much as I can!


Finally, a big highlight of the last few weeks was my trip to Chile last weekend!  I went with three other girls from my program, one of whom had actually lived in Chile in high school.  We spent two days in Santiago and two days in Valparaiso.  I really loved both cities, but Valparaiso blew me away.  It’s just endless hills and hills of colorful houses, think San Francisco times ten.  We saw a lot of the sights, Pablo Neruda’s house, La Moneda, el Mercado Central, but we also did a lot of wandering around, and shopping!  I have most of my souvenirs purchased now, and about half of them are for me :) 


But also, traveling to a different country for the first time without any kind of adult supervision was really empowering, and my ability to make new friends in a new culture and accent in only a few days made me feel like I’m capable of a lot more than I thought.  It inspires me to keep travelling and having new experiences.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I came back from my trip pretty wiped out, so this week has been a bit more low-key to help recover.  But starting next week I’m ready to get back out there and push my comfort zone a little more.  I’ve done more during this adventure than I thought possible but I still have two months to go and I want to see how far I can go!


I leave you with the lyrics from the new single by my favorite song artist, Sara Bareilles, “Brave”.  This song is already one of my all time favorites, I love its message of putting yourself out there as you truly are and letting your voice be heard.  It’s a lot harder to “say what you want to say” in a new language and culture, but little by little I’m learning how to speak my truth, and learning to surround myself with people who will hear it.  


“And since your history of silence 
Won’t do you any good 
Did you think it would? 
Let your words be anything but empty 
Why don’t you tell them the truth? 

Say what you wanna say 
And let the words fall out 
Honestly I wanna see you be brave 

With what you want to say 
And let the words fall out 
Honestly I wanna see you be brave 

I just wanna see you 
I just wanna see you 
I just wanna see you 
I wanna see you be brave 

I just wanna see you 
I just wanna see you 
I just wanna see you 
I wanna see you be brave 

I just wanna see you 
I just wanna see you 
I just wanna see you 
I wanna see you be brave 

I just wanna see you 
I just wanna see you 
I just wanna see you”

Share

Leave a Reply

Are you human? *