Leaving “Home”

Sydney Foster
Business and Spanish Majors
Buenos Aires, Argentina

It has officially come down to my last two weeks here in Buenos Aires, and it seems like there aren’t enough words to begin to describe the feelings I have. It’s somewhere around excitement for the fact that I get to see all of my friends and family again, but also strange because I feel as if I have a home here and have found my place in this crazy world of “BA”. I have a routine, I have friends and people to hangout with on the weekends, I’ve found my favorite restaurants, and my favorite places to study. All of that is about to be stripped from me in two weeks and I can tell all of you right now that I am absolutely NOT ready. I even had a brief lapse this morning when I was trying to figure out ways that I could stay in the country for the rest of the summer. Studying abroad has made me the happiest I have been in years, and it’s scary to have all this happiness and then not exactly know what you’re going home to, what has changed, and how you’re going to react to the changes you see in yourself and everybody else. When they tell you that you’ll have reverse culture shock going home, believe them, I’m already nervous about it in a good way I think. Being in Buenos Aires has only made me realize more how immensely lucky I am to have had this opportunity at all. When you’re able to see the world from a different angle and see so many overwhelmingly different lifestyles, you feel grateful, and that is what Argentina has given me. Being here has made me confident, strong, and aware. I have conquered so many challenges (yes, going to the grocery store can be a challenge) that I feel like I will be ready to take on anything in the United States, because “why not?” I conquered being in a different country. When you can’t speak the language and are missing home, you have to push on and that makes you stronger than you could ever imagine. Being this far away from everything and everyone you know and love takes strength, and that’s what study abroad will give you, strength and confidence.

Finally though, Argentina has made me more aware. I watch out for myself more, just because I’m not going to be unsafe in a big city, but I’m also more aware of myself, and my emotions, and what I need and want personally out of life. I’ve gotten clarity. This semester has truly been on of the best 4 months of my life, I’m leaving a piece of my soul in Argentina and I don’t know when I’ll be able to see it again, but I really hope that it will be soon. If you’re on the fence about studying abroad, take the leap. You won’t regret it.

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