Mérida, Yucatán, México
Wow, time slow down! The past few days have been crazy! It has definitely been challenging to adjust to the fast-paced life of being a study abroad student, but my host family instantly made me feel at home away from “home” so the loving support was highly appreciated! Upon arriving, my life began to take a new journey- a journey that has given me opportunities to discover myself in ways that I didn’t know were even possible. Though my time here has been short, I’m realizing that everything anyone ever told me about studying abroad is completely true. My peers, like me, all have different stories and dreams, and if there’s anything they all have in common is that they cherish and know that the best education anyone will ever receive is from traveling.
During our class discussions, we often receive the opportunity to express our opinions regarding important issues that are affecting Mexico today and the influence of those events to other countries. Based on my observations, I, along with my peers, agree that the U.S. system has few “barriers” and more “opportunities” for personal strength and growth. In Mexico, we have seen that the average family oftentimes lacks the opportunities needed for a basic education, for example.
Considering that my family is Mexican, I have experienced certain conditions first-hand. However, being in Mexico for the first time in various years, I constantly find myself prompted to learn more about international relations and the ability of understanding other cultures. Though I have a slight advantage over my peers because of my Mexican background, I have learned that as your understanding of other cultures increases, your understanding of yourself and your own culture will increase exponentially. In a society as diverse as today’s, learning to appreciate and being interested in becoming familiarized with other beliefs, values, and morals, is the key to expanding your horizons and your perspective on the world.