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

“Find Something That’s Just for You”

Time May 20th, 2015 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

About two weeks ago, our Program Director, Mario, had us over to his apartment for dinner. We discussed how the program had been going, how we were feeling about our classes, our Spanish, each other, etc. He asked us if we thought the final two months of our program were going to fly by, and of course we all said yes. He laughed and told us that we were wrong; we had spent the past three months figuring out the best places to go for everything: lunch, coffee, helado, cheap clothes, good places to study, everything. Now that we had everything figured out, our time would pass much more slowly. With all of this extra time we had, he proposed, we should find something that was solely ours. Take a class, play a sport on a rec team, whatever. Get in touch with Argentines and also yourself. However, he warned, don’t sign up together. You have classes together, and I’m sure you hang out on the weekends. “Find something that’s just for you,” he said.

This was an exciting proposition for me because one of the things that’s been really good for me here was being able to find a good balance between time alone and time spent with others, and it’s surprisingly hard to make friends if you don’t go to school or work with them. I’m definitely an introvert; I need my alone time to recharge, and it’s not pretty if I don’t get it. It’s hard, though, to figure out how much time is me recharging, how much of it is getting comfortable with solitude, and how much is too much. The other thing is it gives me is an opportunity to practice my Spanish with native speakers – Not that Alicia (my Host Mom) isn’t great to practice with, but she has unending amounts of patience that most of the people out on the street do not.

At this point, I’m not really sure what my thing is yet. I’m thinking of joining a coro (choir), but I’m not sure. I have started seeking out The Best Cup of Coffee in Buenos Aires, and it’s shocking how friendly people are in cafes, so I’m getting to actually converse with Argentines, and I’m always doing that solo, so maybe, inadvertently, that’s become my thing. Whatever I choose to find for myself; I know I’ll be happy doing it, for one of the most important things I’ve learned in my time here is to not waste time doing things that don’t make you happy.

(END SAPPY POST)

Up next on Susannah’s Study Abroad Adventures: Several day trips, a visit from the parents, and things you don’t realize you need to know when studying abroad!

Share

La Semana Primera

Time February 13th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, Argentina, College Study Abroad | 2 Comments by

That’s Spanish for “The First Week,” which has been amazing (but also strap in, because it’s been full of stuff). I arrived in Buenos Aires last Friday morning, and I stayed in a hostel until Monday morning. The hostel was fun, but it was definitely a party hostel – They had one every night, and then they took you to “un boliche,” which is a nightclub. I only participated in this one night of the three, but it was crazy. The bus from the hostel dropped us off at 2 AM and the club was almost empty, but by 5 AM it was packed. Los Porteños party until the sun comes up, that’s for sure! We left around six, and it still wasn’t clearing out. I met some really cool girls from England, and I roomed with some guys from Germany, and most of them were just backpacking around South America which I think would b be really cool!

Here’s the view from my balcony:

10959846_10204673881580928_815473807069412033_n

While at the hostel, I went exploring around Buenos Aires for a bit, and probably my favorite thing that I saw was the Casa Rosada – this is their version of the white house, although the president doesn’t live there. Evita gave one of her most famous speeches on the balcony there, and it was an amazing feeling to know that.

10385380_10204679933652226_8120337158993368103_n

Then on Monday, it was time to move in with my host mom. She’s a single, older, woman who is one of the nicest people I have ever met. We live in the barrio of Ricoleta, which is a really nice area with a lot of shopping. She showed me around the neighborhood and we had ice cream together, and I began to feel like maybe Buenos Aires could be home.

Orientation has been jam-packed. My program is really small, only six people, and they’re all really cool people that I’m excited to spend the next five months with. Monday, after settling in with my host mom, we went to dinner at a really good Italian restaurant, and Tuesday we had a long presentation on what was safe, what our healthcare plan was like, and a lot of valuable information. After that, we went on a tour of the city; we saw the Ricoleta Cemetary, and I got to see Evita’s tomb, which is something I have been wanting to do for as long as I can remember. We also saw San Telmo, which I have a feeling is going to become my favorite neighboorhood; our tour guide described it as “very bohemian, and where the artists live.”

I’m also having to figure out the public transportation system which is crazy – it gets so packed in the morning that sometimes the buses won’t even stop! It seems kind of difficult now, but the city of Buenos Aires has a transportation app, which has proved to be very helpful.

We also started our intensive spanish class – it’s killer; it’s four hours each day of speaking and listening only in Spanish. On top of my host mom only speaking to me in Spanish, I think my brain is going to melt. However, even in the five days the program has been going, I can understand and speak so much more Spanish than I could when I got here. I’m also a lot braver – it turns out that people get really excited when you just try to speak their language, and they can usually get the idea of what you’re saying. Here’s a view from my school (our class is on the ninth floor).

10426262_10204705084560983_2620201412991405489_n

So far, adjusting to the culture has been pretty easy. I know it gets harder as time goes on, and then it evens out, but right now I feel like this city is where I am supposed to be. I mean, of course, I miss my dog, my sister,  and my family, but I’m making some pretty cool friends here, and I know that everyone at be waiting with open arms (and wagging tails) when I get back.

That’s pretty much all I can think of to post for today (It’s not like there isn’t a lot here), so I guess I’ll go do some homework.

Ciao! :)

 

Share