Reflecting on my first study abroad experience

In my first days back in the United States, I’ve noticed it has been just as hard to re-adjust to all the differences just as it was adjusting in my first days abroad. As I look back on the six weeks I spent in Argentina, its hard to determine which part I enjoyed the most. I was lucky to do a lot of touring and traveling during my time there, spending a weekend in Iguazu Falls, taking a ferry to Montevideo, Uruguay, and spending the rest of my free time touring the city of Buenos Aires. During all of these experiences, I was able to meet new people and experience so many new things, both culturally and personally. When I was not traveling, my time was spent in Literature of the Americas and at my internship site, Shipnow. Through the literature course, I was able to practice my Spanish through reading, writing, and discussions in class. This greatly enhanced my cultural experience as I was able to learn about many different Latin American authors, including many from Argentina itself. After reading many of the great works of these authors and learning about their backgrounds, I learned a lot about the country’s past and present. I also really enjoyed discussing the stories with my host mom Celua who is an avid reader as well.  My internship at Shipnow helped me both professionally and personally as I learned about the business world in Argentina. I got to interact with so many new people every day and ask questions to my coworkers with many different backgrounds. While my knowledge of technology grew through cost calculations and data analysis, I was able to see directly into their costing system and understand where the numbers come from. Additionally, practicing the Spanish language both in and out of a professional setting taught me to have more patience and confidence with myself.

Overall, my first experience abroad is something that I will never forget. In the short six weeks I spent in Argentina, I became more independent, better at problem solving, and more culturally self-aware. As I adjusted to all of the culture shocks that came with traveling to a country so different from the United States, I was able to appreciate even more the opportunities I have been granted growing up in a developed country. I had my first experience in the professional world, and while I know future jobs will not necessarily be the same, I am sure regardless that my time at Shipnow will give me the tools needed to adapt more easily to the professional world after college. Now that I am looking back, my only wish is that I had more time to explore the beautiful country and people of Argentina. Now, it is time to get ready for my senior year of college and apply what I have learned to the rest of my time at the University and to my career post-graduation. Thank you endlessly, Buenos Aires for allowing me to learn and grow from you. Hasta la próxima, Argentina.