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

Just about 1 month left here

Wow! Its the last week of October, and November is my last official month here (I leave at the end of the first week in December).

My my how time has flown. It is amazing to think that I when I return home I will be able to say that I spent 4 months in a foreign country. It is only my second time out of the country, but the longest time I have spent outside of the US. And I am very proud of that. Although it was a struggle at the beginning, and even now is still a struggle, I am happy that I am able to get along well outside my comfort zone. This experience has pushed me outside of my safety box to allow me to grow, which is what I wanted most out of this experience. Traveling has always been and always will be a passion of mine, and this experience is part of me living out my dream.

My goal is to travel the world, visit as many countries as I can, have as many experiences as I can. This dream at times can seem impossible. It is expensive to travel, and as a young black woman it is often dangerous to travel. I often think of many of my family members and friends, some of whom have never traveled outside of their own town. Some do not desire to travel, and are comfortable where they are, with what they know, and have known. Others find it difficult because of money, even years of saving might not afford them a trip. And others are afraid, afraid of the unknown, afraid of the challenges and difficulties they might face. I am also at times afraid, I do not come from a super wealthy background, but this is my desire, my passion and I will fight to make it happen. I’ve learned to work hard and save. To search, search and search again for scholarships and help (a lesson I just recently learned after coming here) and always to trust my gut and take precautions when needed; but in all to enjoy life and the world.

There is so much outside of the small towns I grew up in, so many people, new foods, new styles, new ideas that I am eager to learn about. Being here has advanced my drive to explore, and has taught me to push my boundaries. From my experience here I have learned to ask questions. I do not know much about Argentine culture, language or customs, and in order to learn about them I had to build up the courage to ASK. Normally back home, I am a bit timid and would rather turn to Google to solve all my problems, but here not much is on the internet, you have to go out and find the answers for yourself. Second, I learned that its okay to fail. I have become comfortable with looking lost, or out of place and embarrassing myself. It comes along with being in a new environment and with using a new language. Yes I may have said one word when I meant another or asked someone to repeat themselves multiple times until I understood what they were saying to me, but it’s all apart of the process of learning and growing.

 

As far as my spanish….it is not as advanced as I hoped it would be coming out of this experience. However, it is much better than it was before. It is a bit difficult to force myself to consistently speak spanish, because although I am in a spanish speaking country most of my friends are from study abroad programs from the US, and much of Argentine culture includes English; the clothes have english phrases, the food products have labels in spanglish, the movies are American with Spanish subtitles, and most Argentines know a bit of English themselves. It is not as much immersion into the language as I thought I was going to have, and I now realize that it is more on me as an individual to incorporate myself into the language. And so, my plan is, since I’ve been slacking, to only speak Spanish during the month of November, my last month here (better late than never!). I’ll change over my computer as well to help the process and only watch Spanish movies and shows. Hope this can help.

 

Until Next Time: #AriInArgi

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