For non Spanish speakers, the title to this post means that "I have luck". I hope that's an accurate statement as I embark on a very interesting journey since I will be leaving for Buenos Aires, Argentina in about two weeks. I'm very excited since for the past year it has been my goal to study abroad in South America. It's almost surreal that my goal is finally coming to fruition.
Studying abroad was always something that I wanted to do. I believed before I went to college, that it would be an opportunity for me to learn about another culture, hone my language skills, and, hopefully, come back to the United States with a deeper understanding of the world in which I live. Even though I am a science major, I feel this experience is essential for my future career in the States. It's long been my assertion that the problem with the US is that we say we want to compete in the global marketplace and we say we want to understand other cultures, but we don't end up doing it. I think a large part of this is in direct result of not spending time in the countries that we profess to want to understand.
Last year whetted my appetite for extended study abroad when I went to Universal during the last week of December and into mid-January. I went to Universal mostly due to the recommendation of Off Campus Studies (OCS) because of their great language immersion program. I took Intermediate Spanish I (201) at Universal and I feel it re-inspired me to continue studying Spanish. It was a perfect learning environment being situated in a medium sized city, Cuernavaca, and immersed in Mexican culture. The best part of the program was the home stay; it really complemented the academic program by providing an environment to learn to effectively communicate in Spanish. I hope to add more reflections on this experience from last year in the future.
After 2 more semesters of Spanish at Gettysburg, I am ready for my next challenge. I am excited to learn the ins and outs of the Argentine dialect and ready to work hard in the program. I am attending Butler University's program for Buenos Aires, Argentina, which will permit me to take classes at 4 different Argentine Universities (more on that later). I will be staying with a family during my semester there on Lafinur Street in Palermo, which is a section of Buenos Aires.
This past week I had the opportunity to visit campus. It's strange that all the students are back and in session while I'm not. I planned my visit around a committee meeting that I serve on (the Diversity Commission) and was able to catch up with Rebecca Bergren (OCS director) during that time and also catch up with different committee meetings. It was great to see all of my friends, but strange since I'm not leaving for another 2 weeks.
The excitement is building. In 2 weeks, I will begin my journey in Argentina.