“I am pleased to inform you that your application to participate in the CCNY-UNTREF Program in Buenos Aires is approved.” When I first read this sentence I really didn’t believe it but after reading it a couple of times, I started to realize that it is happening and I’d be off to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Beginning in high school I’ve always been involved in business-related fields, from interning at different companies as a business-related position to start my own business. So I decided to take some time off and study abroad to learn more culture, ethnicity and emerge myself with different people.
I chose to study in Buenos Aires because I wanted to learn Spanish and explore the cultural, political, and economic issues in Argentina. Which is also why I chose to study Human Rights. I certainly came away with much better Spanish and a deeper understanding of the forces shaping Argentina as a nation. Additionally, I gained valuable lessons that were more personal—lessons that changed how I perceive the world and how I move around in it. Lessons that prepared me well for life moving forward.
Here’s what I really learned while studying abroad:
I learned to immerse myself in the Argentinian culture.
It’s was really hard for me to adapt to the culture of a whole new country. For the first few days, it was extremely hard for me because I didn’t speak the language very well and I didn’t know my way around Buenos, Aires. However, every day and night I went out and started getting involved with the people there. I went to new places and started to learn about the culture and the people. This was the most interesting and best part of my experience studying abroad. I had the opportunity to be part of the “Homestay Program” which provided me the opportunity to live with a local family. Living with them helped me improve my Spanish and I learned a lot about the Argentinian culture. I had the pleasure to eat homemade food - our homestay mom was an amazing chef. I think that the best thing that happened to me in Argentina was learning about the history of Dulce de Leche. It was delighted to living with a local family and the values I gained from the experience is invaluable.
Build Long-Lasting Relationships
I didn’t know anyone in the Study Abroad group except for one my closest friend. Throughout the program, I was able to build a long-lasting relationship with all 20 students that were a part of the program. I also able to build a long-lasting relationship with the program staff, faculty, and even our professor. I will definitely see them again.
Learned About myself
This was the first time I had been away from my parents for so long and being in a totally different country. At first, I was apprehensive, but I was really excited about finally living by myself for awhile. The most important thing I learned while studying abroad was to grow independently in a city where I didn't know anyone. I had the opportunity to learn another language, understand cultural differences and explore my own interests and passions totally by myself. One thing I realize is that by being independent, I was able to open myself to so many opportunities. After getting comfortable with my surroundings and feeling more confident I went out and took walks by myself that is when I learned a lot about myself. I learned to adapt to different situations, I was able to understand my emotion, behaviors, and relationship with myself and others.
Learn to Appreciate what I have…
Living in Buenos Aires for a month I realize that you need to appreciate what you have and the people around you. In New York, we have so many opportunities that are given to us, and our lifestyle is so much easier. However, it’s really different in a developing country, even though Buenos Aires is a really developed city, however visiting surrounding cities I realized that we are living a far better life than many people around the world. We are always complaining about simple problems, however, there are people who have no homes, living in slums, can’t get clean water and so much more. Through this experience, I learned to appreciate more in what I have.
I left Argentina full of memories and amazing experiences. The family I was living with we became really close and the people I met, we became lifelong friends. I would suggest that every college student experience this amazing journey full of fun, learning, excitement and personal growth.