A Letter to Pre-Departure Olivia

Dear Olivia,

You’re about to embark on your semester abroad in Argentina. I’m really jealous. Here’s some advice: 

1. Pack light. I know you thought you did but you could’ve packed even lighter, believe me. The things that you thought that maybe you would possibly need- you won’t touch them. Leave them home! 

2. Make a list of must-do’s/see’s in Buenos Aires. You really will do and see a lot. I think you’ve touched on all of the major things and overall did a good job of getting to know the city. Making a list at the start would’ve given you an even greater sense of accomplishment though, as you probably would’ve checked off almost everything (except the Fine Arts museum. Oh well, next time!) 

3. Be patient with your Spanish. Locals are going to have some difficulty understanding you at times. Your accent is bad, so don’t get frustrated with them. You’ll eventually get to where you need to go or buy what you need to buy. Listen to people when they repeat what you thought you were saying. Take note of their pronunciation and try to keep it in mind the next time you’re ordering something with “manGO.” 

4. Write down what you’ve done! You‘re going to travel a lot. It was awesome. Document it! It’s so easy to forget all the places you’ve been to, the people you met, and the things you’ve done. You’ll take pictures, but eventually you aren’t going to remember what they are even of. If you take 5 minutes at the end of each day (in Buenos Aires and during your trips), you will have a great point of reference to look back on and you remind you of all the good times (and the very few bad ones). The semester was too fun, you won’t want to forget any of it. 

5. Remember how short four months can be. Although it may seem like a lot now, this semester is going to fly by. Make the most out of each day. Before you know it, June will come and the term will be over! Speak up with your program coordinator about things that are going well and some aspects that maybe could improve. You’ll be glad that you did. The semester is too short to not enjoy every minute of it!